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TNT chats to director of Bayadere – The Ninth Life

Last month, The Lowry played host to Shobana Jeyasingh’s Bayadère – The Ninth Life.

Co-produced by Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Bayadère – The Ninth Life is a contemporary dance work. It takes the figure of the Bayadère – the Indian temple dancer to explore the allure she exerted (and continues to exert) in Europe.

Jeyasingh told TNT: “It opens with an online conversation between two young British Asian men. One of them has been taken to see the original ballet by his girlfriend. As he describes it to his friend, he is transported – kidnapped if you like – into the extravagant, excessive world of the 19th century ballet”.

She said she decided to choreograph this show after being impresses by the choreography and spectacle of 19th century classic ballet La Bayadère. “I knew I would create a response to it one day. It is 25 years later but I have done it!”, she said.

Having been invited by The Lowry to Manchester, Jeyasingh was thrilled “to be opening the show there”.

There are ten dancers and one actor in the piece, she told TNT. Some of the dancers like Avatâra Ayuso, Noora Kela and Sooraj Subramaniam who plays the Bayadère have worked with Jeyasingh previously. “It’s a vibrant mix of people which makes for a good atmosphere in the rehearsal studio”, the British choreographer said.

Although the show premiered at the Linbury Studio Theatre in 2015, the main difference in this production is new set by theatre designer Tom Piper.  “Tom has created a set featuring vitrines and museum-like frames which really communicates what I want to say”, Jeyasingh told TNT.

TNT Arts & Culture

Photo Credit: JP Masclet

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