- Running time210 minutes
A group of young warriors, led by Solor, are out hunting. Before entering the forest, Solor sends a fakir to tell the temple dancer (bayadère) Nikiya that he will meet her later that night. When Nikiya and Solor meet, they swear eternal fidelity to each other, little knowing that the High Brahmin, who is also in love with Nikiya, has overheard them and decided to take revenge. The High Brahmin rushes to reveal the secret to the Rajah, who has selected Solor as the betrothed of Gamzatti, his beloved daughter. Nikiya, unaware of the arrangement, agrees to dance at the couple's betrothal celebrations.
In an effort to have Solor killed and take Nikiya for himself, the jealous High Brahmin tells the Rajah that the warrior has already sworn his love to the temple dancer. But rather than becoming angry with Solor, the Rajah vows that Nikiya must die. Gamzatti, who has eavesdropped on this exchange, summons Nikiya to the palace in an attempt to bribe her into giving up her beloved. As their rivalry intensifies, Nikiya picks up a dagger in a fit of rage and attempts to kill Gamzatti. Nikiya is stopped at the last moment and flees in horror at what she has almost done.
This time it is Gamzatti who vows that the temple dancer must die.
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