National Ballet Academy students in La Bayadère

Photo: Angela Sterling

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Since 8 October, students of the National Ballet Academy’s Bachelor and Trainee programme have been dancing in the corps de ballet of the highly acclaimed production of La Bayadère by Dutch National Ballet. Nearly 140 years after its premiere in St Petersburg, in Russia, this exotic ballet about the love between the Indian temple dancer Nikiya and the warrior Solor is still conquering the hearts of ballet-lovers the world over.

Since 8 October, students of the National Ballet Academy’s Bachelor and Trainee programme have been dancing in the corps de ballet of the highly acclaimed production of La Bayadère by Dutch National Ballet. Nearly 140 years after its premiere in St Petersburg, in Russia, this exotic ballet about the love between the Indian temple dancer Nikiya and the warrior Solor is still conquering the hearts of ballet-lovers the world over.

Dutch National Ballet is dancing La Bayadère in the wonderful version staged for the prestigious American Ballet Theatre in 1980 by the former Russian prima ballerina Natalia Makarova. It was the first production of the complete Bayadère for a Western company, and although other interpretations have been staged in our neighbouring countries since then, Makarova’s version is still regarded as the most beautiful and poetic. It is with good reason that her production is not only danced by ABT, but is also on the repertoire of companies like The Royal Ballet, the Ballet of La Scala in Milan, the Royal Swedish Ballet, The Australian Ballet and The Tokyo Ballet.

As in 2007, when Dutch National Ballet presented their premiere of La Bayadère, Makarova (now aged 75) once again worked extensively with the dancers of Dutch National Ballet, and this time also with students of the National Ballet Academy. For all of them, it was a unique opportunity to be coached by this legendary former prima ballerina. Makarova may be unrelenting, but she succeeds in getting the best out of every dancer.

The National Ballet Academy students were also helped and coached for their performance in La Bayadère by teacher Joanne Zimmerman.

Performances of La Bayadère run until 13 November in Dutch National Opera & Ballet, in Amsterdam. www.operaballet.nl



Photo: Altlin Kaftira

Natalia Makarova. Photo:Altin Kaftira

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