Bayadère - The Ninth Life
Ah, the Orient. That strange colonial construct; the West's creation and definition of the 'Other' as 'exotic' and in need of a white leader, a good lesson in Christian values, and a lecture on British prudishness. And what good that did for everyone, eh? In many ways Marius Petipa's legendary ballet La Bayadère was a part of that project, and Shobana Jeyasingh's reimagining of this classic is about playing into this vision of the Orient, if only to dismantle it. In Jeyasingh's version of the piece, we're looking to find out more about the mysterious Bayadère, the alluring Indian temple dancer; the racial archetype, the sex slave. Performed by nine dancers to the recorded words of writer Théophile Gautier describing an Indian temple dancer in 1838, this conceptual piece reminds us all that fetishising the 'Other' can sound romantic, but really it's not - lookin' right atcha Fox "News".