Minkus's famous ballet received its first adaptation
by Bluebell School of Dance at
The Brook Entertainment Centre, Chatham.
5th, 6th & 7th April 2001
in aid of The Force Against Arthritis
Nikiya - The Bayadere (temple dancer)
Nathalie Gilmour & Rebecca Bailey
Solor - A Warrior
Lara Osmotherly & Jenna Hubbard
Gamzatti - The Rajah's Daughter
Grand Brahmin - The High Priest
ACT ONE : THE TEMPLE
Solor, a warrior, has returned from war a great hero. As he travels home he stops at the temple to be re-united with his love Nikiya, a temple dancer, a bayadere. He sends word to Nikiya via a fakir then he hides. The Grand Brahmin and his followers give thanks for the victory. After Nikiya has performed her dance, the Brahmin declares his love for her but she rejects him. The fakir tells Nikiya that Solor is waiting for her and, when the ceremony is over and the other followers have returned to the temple, Nikiya steals back to meet Solor. The lovers exchange vows, but, unknown to them, they are seen by the Brahmin, who swears his revenge.
The next day the royal party arrives at the temple to greet Solor. The Rajah offers Solor the hand in marriage of his daughter, Gamzatti. Solor, recalling his vow to Nikiya, tries to refuse, but the rich and powerful Rajah cannot be denied. Nikiya is called to perform a dance for them, not knowing of the betrothal. As the party prepares to leave for the palace, the Brahmin tells the Rajah Solor is promised to Nikiya. He is horrified when the Rajah decides Nikiya must die. Their conversation is overheard by Gamzatti. She sends her servant to summon Nikiya to invite her to dance at the wedding. She shows Nikiya a picture of her betrothed and tries to bribe her to give him up. Shattered at the prospect of losing Solor, Nikiya seizes a knife and attacks Gamzatti. She flees into the temple and Gamzatti too decides Nikiya must die.
ACT TWO : THE PALACE
At the palace the wedding of Gamzatti and Solor is being celebrated. Nikiya is summoned to dance. Although she is veiled, Solor recognises her and is wracked with guilt. At the end of her dance, Gamzatti gives her a basket of flowers. Hidden inside is a poisonous snake which bites Nikiya. Mortally wounded, she begs Solor to remain faithful to the promise he made to her. The Brahmin offers her an antidote but unable to face life without Solor, she chooses death and dies in Solor's arms.
ACT THREE : THE KINGDOM OF SHADES
Nikiya's soul has gone to the Kingdom of Shades. Solor searches for her there. The lovers are finally re-united. Solor renews his vows of eternal love and the Shades dance for joy. Solor cannot bear to leave Nikiya and return to the human world. The strength of his love frees Nikiya's soul and the lovers find happiness in a better place.