Bayadère – The Ninth Life (2015)

In March 2015, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance premiered a new theatre work, Bayadère – The Ninth Life, commissioned by the Royal Ballet Studio Programme and inspired by the ballet La Bayadère.

Drawing on Marius Petipa’s original choreography and the stories of the first real ‘temple dancers’ to visit Europe, Shobana illuminates the West’s fascination with the myth of the Orient. She examines how this legacy has directly affected the Indian diaspora today, and how the story of La Bayadère relates to modern fantasies of both East and West.

Tour Dates

Jeyasingh’s imagination is boundless, her dance is brave and exhilarating…one of the country’s most brilliant creators.
The Independent on Sunday, UK

  • Exeter
    12-13 May 2015

    Exeter Northcott Theatre
    Stocker Rd
    Exeter EX4 4QB
    01392 493493

  • Watford
    6 May 2015

    Watford Palace Theatre
    20 Clarendon Road
    Watford WD17 1JZ
    01923 225671

  • Eastleigh
    2 Apr 2015

    The Point
    Leigh Road
    Hampshire SO50 9DE
    023 8065 2333

  • London
    (world premiere)
    25-28 Mar 2015

    Linbury Studio Theatre
    Royal Opera House
    Covent Garden
    London WC2E 9DD
    020 7304 4000

  • Birmingham
    18 Mar 2015

    Cannon Hill Park
    Birmingham B12 9QH
    0121 446 3232



  • Jeyasingh embodies (Gautier’s) confusion brilliantly, both in the dangerously sinuous choreography she gives to the lead devadasi (a woman danced by a man) and in the way she uses her remaining eight dancers to portray, simultaneously, the visceral intensity of the devadasis and the wary fascination of their observers.

    The Guardian

  • Shobana Jeyasingh is an extremely gifted choreographer and a long-time cultural interrogator. With this novel and typically tightly constructed take on the 19th-century classical ballet warhorse La Bayadère she reconfirms her status as one of the UK’s more stimulating artists.

    The Times

  • This is by any measure a remarkable work: intelligent, thought-provoking, immensely accomplished in its choreography, staging and dancing.
    … keep the words Shobana Jeyasingh Dance very much at the forefront of your mind!
    … utterly mesmerising

    Culture Whisper

  • In this strange other-world of dappled light created by Fabiana Piccioli to haunting sounds from Gabriel Prokofiev, Jeyasingh choreographs her own bayadère to magical effect. Subramaniam, a charismatic performer, create(s) moments of luminous beauty…
    … Jeyasingh has a distinctive approach to partnering that discovers untrammelled paths.

    Critical Dance

Audience Reactions

  • Fabulous dancing, so vibrant and energetic. Quite different to other shows

  • I thought it was a great opportunity to see a nationally first class production

  • … every movement seemed exquisite – who knew feet, wrists and finger tips could express so much?

  • The skill of each dancer was extraordinary to me and the way they filled the whole space or drew attention to the tiniest detail kept me in a trance to the very end

  • The evening was such an unexpected treasure, I will never forget it…

  • 60 minutes being moved, entertained & challenged by dance. Perfect…

Creative Team

  • Shobana Jeyasingh
  • David Micklem
  • Gabriel Prokofiev
  • Adam Wiltshire
  • profile-fabiana-piccioli
  • profile-elisabetta-dAloia
  • Lighting Designer
    Fabiana Piccioli
  • Video Interaction Design Consultant
    Fahrudin Nuno Salihbegovic
  • Production Manager
    Rachel Shipp
  • Sound Engineer
    Fred de Faye
  • Rehearsal Director
    Elisabetta d’Aloia


Bayadère – The Ninth Life was commissioned by The Royal Ballet Studio Programme. The project was generously supported by Arts Council England, Oak Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation. Music by Gabriel Prokofiev, performed by arrangement with Faber Music Ltd, London.

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