Le Corsaire, a slightly comedic, very swashbuckling, pirate-based ballet was a favorite last year. With its very powerful male dancing and a second act that’s loaded with virtuous performances it was easy to fall in love with the production.
This year, American Ballet Theatre has revamped the production with splendid new sets and costumes. In particular with the new sets is a great looking new pirate ship, a cool market bazaar and a gorgeous grotto. The choreography, however, is the same as it was in last year’s production, which was fine by me.
The show opens and closes on the massive pirate ship. Initially the pirates are coming into port with their load of girls for the pasha to review. At the end of the show, the ship is overtaken in a massive storm, ultimately shipwrecking the young lovers. The ship was impressive, as was the storm effects at the end of the show.
We had a stunning cast yesterday afternoon. Ivan Vasiliev as Conrad, the pirate was outstanding in acts one and three (he spends most of the second act captured). Vasiliev does some amazing leg work as he leaps through the air, making him awesome to watch. Daniil Simkin, in the very flashy role of Ali the slave, continues to be impressive every time I see him. His solos and pairings in the second act were incredible. Herman Cornejo as Lankendem, the man who falls in love with Medora and saves her from the pasha’s harem, was powerful as always. His second act pas de deux with Natalia Osipova as Medora was beautiful.
Here are some additional pictures from the new production, starting with Natalia Osipova in the third act’s Jardin Anime. (The other images do not feature the cast we saw yesterday afternoon).
Next week we see Romeo and Juliet.