Hindus urge Bayerische Staatsoper to drop culturally insensitive ballet ‘La Bayadère’
Hindus urge Bayerische Staatsoper (Bavarian State Opera) in Munich (Germany) to drop its upcoming production of “La Bayadère”; scheduled for May-June 2023; which they say seriously trivializes Eastern and other religious traditions.
Prominent Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA), said today that the taxpayer-funded Bayerische Staatsoper, “one of the greatest opera houses in the world”, will not should not devote itself to the ruthless promotion of the appropriation of the traditions, elements and concepts of “the others”; and ridicule entire communities.
Zed, who is president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, said the deeply problematic ballet was a blatant disparagement of a rich civilization and showed 19th-century Orientalist attitudes. He also urged the Bayerische Staatsoper to apologize for such an inappropriate selection.
The Bayerische Staatsoper should have shown maturity before choosing a ballet like “La Bayadère” (The Temple Dancer), showing the Western caricature of Eastern heritage and encouraging ethnic stereotypes; noted Rajan Zed.
It was highly irresponsible for Bayerische Staatsoper to choose such a ballet which had been blamed for patronizing a flawed mishmash of Orientalist stereotypes, dehumanizing cultural representation and misrepresentation, offensive and demeaning elements, unnecessary appropriation of cultural motifs , essentialism, superficial exoticism, caricature, etc. Bayerische Staatsoper could do better than this to serve its various stakeholders; Zed said.
Rajan Zed also urged Bavarian Minister-President Dr. Markus Söderto to seriously address this issue of cultural stereotypes by Bayerische Staatsoper.
Zed suggested to Bayerische Staatsoper Director General Serge Dorny and Executive Director Dr Roland Schwab to re-evaluate its systems and procedures and send its executives for cultural sensitivity training so that such inappropriate things don’t slip in. not in the future.
In addition; The partners/sponsors of the Bayerische Staatsoper like BMW, Siemens, etc., would have to rethink their relationship with him if he continued with ballets like “La Bayadère”, which trivialized the traditions of the “others”; Rajan Zed added.
Like many others, Hindus also consider ballet as one of the revered art forms that offers richness and depth. But we are well into the 21st century now, and “La Bayadère”, which was first presented in Saint Petersburg (Russia) in 1877, is long awaited for a final retirement from the world stage; Zed points out.
The Bayerische Staatsoper, whose history dates back to 1653, presents “La Bayadère” in two acts and six scenes of 2h35 on May 26, 27, 29 and June 16, 18, 2023. Ticket prices go up to €100.