Close this search box.
Close this search box.

‘Sidd’, A Synopsis


The mystical Ferryman foreshadows the journey.

Act 1
Scene 1 – Family Celebration
Sidd, an aspiring young man full of promise, is being celebrated by his family. We meet his best friend Govinda and are introduced to The Ego, his shadow figure, who is invisible to all but Sidd. Tormented by The Ego’s desires during the celebration, Sidd begins to doubt the future his family plans for him and decides to find his own way, leaving everything behind.

Scene 2 – Farewell
Sidd’s family are distraught. His friend Govinda and then his parents fight hard to hold him back, but Sidd stays firm. Finally his father relents and allows him to leave home.

Scene 3 – Rejecting the Material World
Leaving all comforts behind Sidd joins the Samanas (worshippers) who reject the material world. The Samanas meet the Buddha who they faithfully follow, but Sidd realizes he needs to find answers for himself. Buddha invites him to join them, but Sidd strikes out on his own.

Scene 4 – Alone
Completely alone and at peace with himself for the first time, suddenly The Ego reappears. Sidd struggles to separate himself from The Ego, and a desperate struggle ensues.

Scene 5 – The Ferryman
Sidd meets the Ferryman who will take him across the river. There he encounters a beautiful courtesan, Kamala. He is enchanted by her and wants her to show him the ways of love.

Scene 6 – Casino
Kamala demands that Sidd find a way to earn money. She leads him to a casino where he learns gambling and becomes successful. The Ego re-appears, loving the wealth and the attention. But the moment comes when Sidd is disgusted with his life and its trappings.

Scene 7 – Drowning
Back at the river and full of self loathing, Sidd jumps in and tries to end his life.

Act 2
Scene 1 – Om
A sea of River People. Sidd is washed up onshore, unconscious. From the river comes the sound of OM which gradually revives him. Exhausted, he sleeps.

Scene 2 – A Vision of Kamala
Kamala comes to Sidd as he dreams. She is carrying his child. Later Govinda discovers Sidd meditating, and they are reunited. Now humbled, Sidd asks if he can live with the Ferryman.

Scene 3 – A Son
The River People bring Sidd’s son, bequeathed to him by Kamala. Sidd develops love for the child, but the Ferryman teaches Sidd that he is smothering the child and must let him find his own way, just as his father had learned to let him go.

Scene 4 – Reconciliation
The Ego returns and almost drowns trying to reach Sidd who resists at first. They make their peace signifying that one cannot exist without The Ego. As they come together we see a tableau of all the characters we have met on Sidd’s life journey.

A note from choreographer Nicolo Fonte

When Christine Cox approached me with this commission, she was keen for me to create a piece with a strong narrative. The book Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse popped into my head – I felt that its interesting characters, beautiful imagery, and sense of movement could translate well to ballet. I was also attracted to Siddhartha’s journey as he attempts to reach spiritual transformation. I have always found the idea of spiritual transformation to be a very compelling concept. In some ways, all my work has to do with that idea. It’s gratifying to tackle it in such an overt, literal way with this particular ballet.

There is a fabulous set in the ballet designed by Set & Lighting Designer, Michael Korsch. Michael and I both wanted something that could create different environments on stage to enhance the idea of a journey. Michael devised the set to be modular, constantly moving and changing along with our hero. The set is physically manipulated by the dancers, and it becomes part of the choreography. It’s really the 13th member of the cast.

The ballet is set in a sort of anywhere, anytime. That was a creative choice – I wanted to drill down to just the themes of this book, and discover ways to express those ideas through dance. I worked closely with Nancy Meckler, who served as Artistic Collaborator on this piece. Working with Nancy not only helped me to form the synopsis for the ballet, but also to see the universality of this story, and the understanding that self-transformation and spiritual awakening can happen anywhere and everywhere. It is an inward journey manifested outwardly.