Baiadera ballet performance
The few candles that barely flickered in the temple drew mysterious shadows on the walls. Baiadera Nikia, the most beautiful and elegant of the dancers, came hastily to light the sacred fire. Behind one of the columns appeared the warrior Solor who secretly loved her. The two swore eternal love.
But, from somewhere in the darkness, they were being followed by the Great Brahman, who, in turn, hoped for Nikia’s heart.
The chief of the place, Rajahul, appreciated Solor for his deeds of bravery and, although he was not of noble rank, he considered him worthy to give his daughter, Gazmatti, as his wife. Although honored by the proposal, Solor hesitated. Gazmatti was incredibly beautiful, but she couldn’t get over the love she had for the bayadera.
Furious, the Rajah threatens Solor: either he accepts the marriage or he will be killed. The warrior is then forced to give up his beloved Nikia and prepares for the wedding ceremony that was to take place the next day.
Although his father’s plan had borne fruit, Gazmatti has no peace. She knows that as long as the baiadera is alive, she will not have Solor’s love, even if he will be her husband. So he devises a ruse. He asks for Nikia to be brought to him, under the pretext that he wants her to dance at his wedding. Nikia, who had no idea who was going to be the bridegroom, happily accepted the Rajah’s daughter’s invitation. But, when Gazmatti shows him the portrait of the one he will marry, he feels sick. He can’t believe that the one who a few days ago had sworn eternal faith to him was going to marry someone else! To make her better, Gazmatti offers her a bargain: he will offer her a chest full of jewels, on the condition that Nikia leaves the palace. But Nikia doesn’t even want to hear it. She will not sell her love. What’s more, she will dance at her lover Solor’s wedding.
The next day, a sumptuous party is given at the palace. Important guests take part in the union of the Rajah’s daughter with the warrior Solor. The tables barely hold up under the weight of the choicest dishes prepared by skilled chefs. Everyone rejoices and worships a cup in honor of the bride and groom. Everyone, except the beautiful bayadera who felt her soul torn by pain. However, she had prepared a special dance.
There is silence. Baiadera walks slowly towards the center of the ballroom. She carries a basket of flowers with her. The dance begins. So graceful is she in her movements, that all conversation ceases and all eyes turn to her.
Those who knew the story of love ended too soon, could realize that Nikia’s dance was nothing more than a declaration of love for her beloved Solor. A last declaration of love, because a poisonous snake comes out of the flower basket and bites her to death.
Soon the Great Brahman offers her a medicine that will save her from death, on the condition that she takes him for a man. But Nikia would rather die than marry a man she doesn’t love.
In a few minutes, the venom took effect, and the baiadera was out of breath.
Consumed by remorse, Solor did not have a happy marriage with Gazmatti. Every day he had visions with Nikia. This time, the baiadera pretended to dance in front of him and handed him a scarf. Solor grabs it, pulls it, and the palace collapses on him, bringing him to the world of shadows, next to his beloved bayadera.