This disc has not yet been reviewed. The following information has been provided by the distributor.
Khudekov's libretto for La Bayadère (meaning The Temple Dancer or The Temple Maiden) tells the story of the bayadère Nikiya and the warrior Solor, who have sworn eternal fidelity to one another. The High Brahmin, however, is also in love with Nikiya and learns of her relationship with Solor. Moreover, the Rajah Dugmanta of Golconda has selected Solor to wed his daughter Gamzatti (or Hamsatti, as she is known in the original production), and Nikiya, unaware of this arrangement, agrees to dance at the couple's betrothal celebrations.
In his effort to have Solor killed and have Nikiya for himself, the jealous High Brahmin informs the Rajah that the warrior has already vowed eternal love to Nikiya over a sacred fire. But the High Brahmin's plan backfires when, rather than becoming angry with Solor, the Rajah decides that it is Nikiya who must die. Gamzatti, who has eavesdropped on this exchange, summons Nikiya to the palace in an attempt to bribe the bayadère into giving up her beloved. As their rivalry intensifies, Nikiya picks up a dagger in a fit of rage and attempts to kill Gamzatti, only to be stopped in the nick of time by Gamzatti's ayah. Nikiya flees in horror at what she has almost done. As did her father, Gamzatti vows that the bayadère must die.
At the betrothal celebrations Nikiya performs a somber dance while playing her veena. She is then given a basket of flowers which she believes are from Solor, and begins a frenzied and joyous dance. Little does she know that the basket is from Gamzatti, who has concealed beneath the flowers a venomous snake. The bayadère then holds the basket too close and the serpent bites her on the neck. The High Brahmin offers Nikiya an antidote to the poison, but she chooses death rather than life without her beloved Solor.
In the next scene the depressed Solor smokes opium. In his dream-like euphoria he has a vision of Nikiya's shade (or spirit) in a nirvana among the star-lit mountain peaks of the Himalayas called The Kingdom of the Shades. Here, the lovers reconcile among the shades of other bayadères. (In the original 1877 production, this scene took place in an illuminated enchanted palace in the sky.) When Solor awakes, preparations are underway for his wedding to Gamzatti.
In the temple where the wedding is to take place the shade of Nikiya haunts Solor as he dances with Gamzatti. When the High Brahmin joins the couple's hands in marriage, the gods take revenge for Nikiya's murder by destroying the temple and all of its occupants. In an apotheosis, the shades of both Nikiya and Solor are reunited in death and eternal love.