Choreographies
The Corsair
8 Feb 2021
The Corsair

Rome Opera Ballet

  • Ballet in Two Acts
  • Libretto by Vernoy De Saint Georges and Joseph Mazilier based on The Corsair by George G. Byron
  • Coreography: José Carlos Martínez (after M. Petipa)
  • Music: Adolphe-Charles Adam,Cesare Pugni, Léo Delibes, Riccardo Drigo
  • Musical Arrangement: Alexei Baklan
  • Set and costume designer: Francesco Zito
  • Lighting Designer: Vinicio Cheli
  • Assistant Choreographer: Agnes Letestu
  • Sets and Costumes by Theatre de L’Opera de Rome

* World premiere by the Rome Opera Ballet on March 1, 2020

Ljubljana National Theater Opera Ballet

El Corsario, producción Ballet de la Ópera de Liubliana

The Corsair, Ljubljana Opera Ballet

  • Ballet in two acts
  • Libretto: Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges based on the motifs of the poem The Corsair by George Noel Gordon Byron
  • Coreography: José Carlos Martínez (after M. Petipa)
  • Music: Adolphe-Charles Adam and Cesare Pugni, Léo Delibes, Riccardo Drigo
  • Musical Arrangement: Alexei Baklan
  • Set Designer: Matej Filipčič
  • Drawings: Dejan Mesarič, Nastja Miheljak
  • Costume Designer: Iñaki Cobos Guerrero
  • Lighting Designer: Jasmin Šehić
  • Assistant Choreographer: Anael Martín
  • Assistant Set Designer: Nastja Miheljak
  • Sets and Costumes by Theatre Workshop SNG Opera in balet Ljubljana and SNG Drama Ljubljana

* Premiere on September 23, 2020 with the Ljubliana Opera Ballet

Excerpts from the Interview with the Choreographer by Natasa Jelie

I thought it was reasonable to make a »purified« version of the ballet, composed of two parts, i.e. a fairy tale, similar to Giselle or The Nutcracker. I also opted for a simplified dramaturgy, woven around the main characters of Medora and Conrad. I set up the ballet’s structure in advance, of course, and then later or, conveyed my ideas to the dancers in the rehearsal studios of the Ljubljana Opera and tried to find the best way for them to present the story to the audience.

As I usually do, I wrote the libretto for my version of Le Corsaire by myself, because I always want to tell the story my way. I entrusted the reading of the libretto to my colleagues, but only to check its comprehensibility. I found the inspiration for the story as in the Lord Byron’s poem, as well as in the original score by Adolphe Adam, which I also changed where necessary. As I already mentioned before, it was not my intention to make an entirely new version of this ballet, but only a more comprehensible and purified one. Since the story of Le Corsaire is not as familiar to the audience as those of The Nutcracker or Giselle, its structure had to be simple. Meanwhile, the task of the dancers will be to present the story to the audience as directly and fluently as possible. Therefore, what the audience will be able to see, is a story of love between the two main protagonists, their well-known companions Gulnare, Birbanto, Lankendem, the pirates, and the wealthy Pasha whose aim is to seduce Conrad’s beloved girl …

I kept all the traditional parts of the ballet and among them, of course, the Pas de deux, one of the most famous and frequently performed classical ballet fragments, which became popular among the audiences particularly in its interpretation by the unsurpassed ballet dancers Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev. The spectators will also recognise all the other traditional scenes from this ballet: Pas d’esclave, Le jardin animé, Pas de trois des odalisques … etc. I took the liberty of playing with the movement material left by Patipa this time as well. Thus, I kept only the form of the scenes and just a part of the ballet’s original settings and steps, and choreographed the rest myself. But I am quite positive that the spectators will recognise in my choreography, which of course is not entirely classical, quite a few details that will strongly resemble the one that was once conceived by the great master Petipa.

Although I used the time we had at home during the coronavirus lockdown to think about my new projects, I also had some extra time to reconsider all the choreographic material I did for Le Corsaire. Therefore I decided to change »a thing or two« so that we will finally be able to see in this postponed premiere, the ballet’s more “mature” version.

Sometimes choreographers change their choreography when they come back to tha Company for the revival of their ballet and as a rule, its “second” version is much better because they have time to think about the work they did. Here I had this extra time before the premiere, so rather than anything else, I chose to embrace it as a most welcome opportunity.

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