You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Corps prepares for demanding role in Boston Ballet’s ‘La Bayadère’

“La Bayadère” is a tour de force of ensemble grace and precision.

The Act 3 scene is called “The Kingdom of the Shades.” The Shades are mysterious, shadowy spirit figures that appear in the opium-fueled hallucination of a young Indian warrior named Solor following the death of his beloved Nikiya, a temple dancer. The scene opens as, one by one, the dancers of the corps de ballet enter single file and slowly make their way in unison down a ramp that crisscrosses nearly the full width of the stage, until all are at floor level. This hypnotic, dreamlike processional is basically the repetition of a single phrase — steps forward, a shift of weight, an arabesque in plié, with one leg extended behind, waist high — which the initial dancer performs 38 times until all the women have joined her onstage. The fundamental phrase is so pristine and simple, yet when performed well, it is a breathtaking, timeless tour de force of ensemble grace and precision.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week