La Bayadère (The Temple Dancer) is a famous ballet that was originally staged in four acts and seven tableaux by French choreographer Marius Petipa, to the music of Ludwig Minkus.The essence of “La Bayadère’s” plot is classical Indian literature, namely Kalidasa’s drama Sakuntala and Goethe’s poem The God and the Bayadere.
La Bayadere is most famous for its “white act,” commonly known as the Kingdom of the Shades. It is one of the most celebrated excerpts in all of classical ballet. The dance begins with 32 women in white, all making their way down a ramp in unison. The dance is exquisite, and often performed by itself.