La Bayadère

The most dramatic scenes in Stanton Welch's La Bayadère is the Kingdom of the Shades, when the women from the Houston Ballet's corps de ballet, each dressed in a white tutu, enter one-by-one performing a simple walking-into-arabesque movement. The dancers form an undulating line, until the stage is filled with identical figures executing extremely precise movements. ''The image of all of the women coming on is very hypnotic, very mesmerizing,'' says principal dancer Connor Walsh via press materials. It's so simple and so pure, but I've always found it so powerful.''

La Bayadère is the story of Solor, a warrior who falls in love with Nikiya, a temple dancer. To complicate matters, Gamzatti, the ruler's daughter is set to marry Solor and the high priest is in love with Nikiya. Filled with jealousy and spite, Gamzatti plots to kill Nikiya, but her plan fails to keep the young lovers apart forever. Set in ancient India, La Bayadère has been described as ''Bollywood meets classical ballet'' and Welch's choreography is filled with exotic, fiery movements.
Thu., Feb. 21; Feb. 23-24; March 1-3, 2013

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