This September, Bayadère – The Ninth Life comes to the Lowry. Originally commissioned by The Royal Ballet Studio Programme. In 2017 it is co- produced by Sadler’s Wells.
Shobana Jeyasingh’s latest dance work gets bold new stage design from Tom Piper. Co-creator of the Blood-Swept Lands and Seas of Red poppy installation for the Tower of London.
Piper and Jeyasingh have undercut the stereotypical exoticism of Victorian vision of the Bayadère. Piper has created a series of shifting structures – museum-like vitrines and cages – to frame the nine exceptional dancers.
La Bayadere, a term used to describe Indian temple dancers, features one of ballet’s most celebrated scenes ‘Kingdom of the Shades.’ More than a re-telling, Jeyasingh’s new 2017 edit looks at the excesses of the 19th century classic, and the European fantasy of Indian culture over the centuries.
The work opens with Jas, a young British Asian male at a train station, messaging his friend about a ballet that his girlfriend has dragged him to see… La Bayadère. Jas feels disassociated from Petipa’s view of Indian culture and in his imagination he is transported to 19th century Paris. In Bayadere – The Ninth Life.
Jeyasingh’s earlier version of Bayadère – The Ninth Life premiered at the Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House in 2015.