Le Corsaire. Performance of the "Kremlin Ballet"
Ballet, three acts with prologue and epilogue
Lobretto by A.Saint-George and J.Mazilier as adapted by Yuri Grigorovich inspired by the poem by G.Byron
Choreographer-director of the new adaption on the basis of M.Petipa’s composition is Yuri Grigorovich, Hero of Socialist Labour, People’s Artist of the USSR, laureate of Lenin and the State Awards of the USSR, professor
Designer - Nikolai Sharonov
The performance employs music by composers C.Pugni, R.Drigo and others, as well as dancing episodes by J.Perro, K.Sergeev, V.Chabukiani and others.
“Le Corsaire” is one of the classical heritage ballets and it has remained in repertory of many theatres for more than 150 years. For the first time it was performed on the stage of Paris Grand Opera in 1856. The ballet authors are as follows: libretto – A.Saint-George and J.Mazilier, ballet master – J.Mazilier. Two years later “Le Corsaire” was performed in the Bolshoi Theatre in St. Petersburg. There it was staged by a famous choreographer J.Perro and later it was revived by M.Petipa. At the Russian stage the ballet saw numerous alterations and revivals, but it was M.Petipa’s version that remained. “Le Corsaire” turned out to be amazingly durable. The music and the plot were employed by many choreographers giving new adaption of the previous choreography or creating some peculiar directions. Artists and spectators were unchangeably attracted by the freedom-loving spirit of Byron’s poem, which served as a basis for the libretto, human passion and romantic excitement of the theme.
For the first time Yuri Grigorovich turned to “Le Corsaire” in 1994 and his staging in the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia also contained choreographical episodes of his predecessors above all made by Petipa. In 2005 he directed a new version of the performance in Krasnodar Ballet Theatre. The current turning to “Le Corsaire” is the third one for choreographer Yuri Grigorovich and the first for the “Kremlin Ballet’s” company led by Andrei Petrov. The cooperation between Grigorovich and this company started back in 1999 with “Romeo and Juliet” and continued in 2001 with “Ivan the Terrible” ballet, both to the music by Sergei Prokofiev.
This staging of “Le Corsaire” retains the most spectacular dancing scenes and items familiar to the wide audience such as “Lively garden”, odalisque maiden dances, love duet in grotto and other choreographic elements. The performance revealing lyrical and emotional richness of the score employs music composed by C.Pugni, L.Delibes, R.Drigo and others. The performance also employs lead soloists of the Kremlin Ballet Theatre as well as students of Moscow state academy of choreography.
The performance is accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra Radio Orpheus (Artistic managing director and Principal conductor - Sergey Kondrashov)
Theship of pirates – corsairs in dispute with sea waves comes nearer to coast.
The first act
Market place of the eastern city. Here the corsairs have come with thier leader Konrad. The slaver Isaak Lankedem praises his “goods”. His pupil and slave Medora draws everyone’s attention for her beauty and dances. Konrad is charmed by the girl. Medora throws him a flower. Having seen Medora and Konrad dancing together Lankedem takes the girl away.
Accompanied by his retinue arrives Seid-pasha to choose slaves for the ha¬rem. But he does not like the “goods”. He is dissatisfied and wants to leave the market. Then Lankedem deduces Medora. Seid-pasha is delighted and is ready to buy it. Lankedem asks huge money. The transaction has taken place, and Seid-pasha leaves, having ordered the servants to accompany the new slave to the harem.
Shaken Medora rushes to Lankedem, but money is more dear to him. Then she asks Konrad for protection. The leader of corsairs with companions rescues the girl, grasps Lankedem, slavesand merchants with their goods on the ship and sails to sea.
The second act
There is the cave on the seacoast where the corsairs come. Medora and Konrad are happy. For the sake of their love the girl asks to grant freedom to the slaves. Konrad is ready to fulfill her desire, but his friend and assistant Birban¬to protests. He does not want to release anybody and inspiresthe disobedience or the pirates. They rush on Konrad, but he quickly finishes with rebels. The released slaves hasten to disappear. Birbantois furious. He thinks out the cun¬ning plan. In a jug with wine he pours a somnolent potion and forces Lankedem to bring the poisoned drink of Konrad.
Theena moured do not notice danger when Lankedem submits him wine. Конрад drinks it and falls asleep.
Medora is in confusion. Conspirators with masks on the faces surround her. Protecting Konrad drugged by a potion, she wounds in a hand one of them. Tha man is Birbanto. Lankedem begs to return him Medora. Using general confusion, he disappears with almost insensible girl.
Birbanto intends to kill sleeping Konrad, but soporific action weakens, an¬d Konrad wakes up. He is in despair, having learnt about abduction of Medora. Birbanto falsely swears to his fidelity.
The third act
Here is a garden in a palace of Seid-pasha. The master is surrounded with numerous wives; they compete with each other for his favour. Here Lank-edem takes the fugitive Medora. Seid-pasha is delighted. The chief of guards reports on arrival of rich overseas merchants – but they are disguised corsairs. “Merchants” present to pasha magnificent gifts. Imperceptibly one of them comes nearer to Medora and she recognizes Konrad. The girl understands that he came to rescue her.
Happy Seid-pasha offers visitors entertainment – court ballet. «The Brisk garden» in which among the slaves beauty Medora reigns. She dances with ec¬stasy and pleasure, knowing that her Konrad is near.
Suddenly corsairs dump merchant clothes and engage with palace retinue. Having won a victory, they disappear with Medora. Birbanto falsely expresses his joy.
But Medora tells Konrad about the plot against him. Konrad is shocred by such treachery and insidiousness. Having noticed on a hand of Birbanto a trace of the wound, Medora understands that the traitor is the former friend of Kon¬rad. Exposed Birbanto snatches on Konrad, but falls struck by a bullet.
Escaping from a pursuit of Seida-pasha, all the corsairs disappear.
There is the ship of corsairs in a way. Konrad with Medora are happy on board.