Shades of mysticism and opulence

Recently landed: Shades of mysticism and opulence: The Australian Ballet's La Bayadère, Gracia's written response for Fjord Review

Stanton Welch's new production of La Bayadère, a glittering tale of betrayal and unrequited love, is akin to finding one’s self within an Indian miniature painting. Swirling shades of burnt coral, gold, dusty pink, turquoise, and an olive green tinged with yellow guide us down the Orientalist path to Mythic India in a romanticised period. The magician's optical illusion in play, nature is contrived by hand and presented as an ordered frame to a stage. The trompe l'oeil effect in motion to both trick the eye and delight sees a Rajah's palace appear before the eyes. And just as an Indian miniature seeks to emphasize mood (or bhava) through rich lyricism, when coupled with the melodies of Minkus in response to the exotic theme, La Bayadère brings to life a daydream of the past through an explosion of dance.

The Australian Ballet's Lana Jones as Gamzatti, the Rajah’s daughter, in Stanton Welch's La Bayadère (Image credit: Jeff Busby)