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The “Granddaddy” of all Romantic Ballets

Sylphide Carolina Ballet Triangle Arts and Entertainment

Sylphide: Boston Ballet's Roman Rykine and Erica Cornejo in La Sylphide; Photo courtesey of Boston Ballet.

One of the most eagerly anticipated programs of Carolina Ballet’s 2010 spring season is the Raleigh premiere of the 1836 ground-breaking romantic ballet, La Sylphide, choreographed by Auguste Bournonville to music of Herman Lovenskjold.  This program, to be presented at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts April 1- 4, also includes a new work by principal guest choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett.  The schedule of performances is as follows:

  • Thursday, April 1 at 8:00pm
  • Friday, April 2 at 8:00pm
  • Saturday, April 3 at 2:00 & 8:00pm
  • Sunday, April 4 at 2:00pm

Artistic Director Robert Weiss says that he is “very pleased to bring La Sylphide to the Triangle as it is one of the oldest story ballets performed today.”  Choreographed in 1836, the version of La Sylphide that remains so popular world-wide was first presented by the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen.  The late Francis Mason in his book 101 Stories of the Great Ballets wrote “La Sylphide deserves continuing attention as ballet history was changed completely by the work….It was a revolution in the art of dancing that we still witness whenever we go to the ballet and see a world of story – of sylphs, ondine, swan queens and firebirds – that is both real and fantasy, settings that are both ethereal and natural, costumes of flowing white, satin toe shoes, and dancers who rise on pointe and are lifted magically into the air by their partners. The era of the romantic ballet begun by this ballet is still much with us.”

Robert Weiss explains the story of La Sylphide as a timeless romantic love triangle that unfolds on the eve of the wedding of a handsome young Scotsman to his childhood sweetheart.  He is visited by a sylph who enchants him and captures his heart.  In the end he must choose which one he will follow.  Weiss says “it is a work of beauty that floats and soars.”

Also on the program is a new ballet, Nine by Twelve, by Lynne Taylor-Corbett to music of Johann Sebastian Bach performed by an ensemble called Four Voices.  Taylor-Corbett says “Bach’s complex exchange of melodic statements among the instruments suggest conversations.  I have always been drawn to the music but it was not until I heard this recording that I imagined myself putting these works to dance.”  The title of the ballet refers to nine short vignettes performed by twelve Carolina Ballet dancers.  Known for her work on Broadway where she has received two Tony Award nominations, Taylor-Corbett has choreographed on every major ballet company in the country.  She has made a name for herself in the Triangle with such innovative works on Carolina Ballet as Carmina Burana, Cabaret with Andrea Marcovicci, Carolina Jamboree to the Red Clay Ramblers, Lost and Found, Code of Silence, The Ugly Duckling and Picnic on the Grass to name just a few.  Following the opening of Carmina Burana in 2001, the Herald Sun wrote “to witness such a mind at work is a tremendous thing; that it is here, available and accessible to all is nothing short of miraculous.”

For ticket information, please call the Carolina Ballet box office at 919 719-0900 or Ticketmaster at 919 982-2787.  Ticket prices range from $63-18 and $10 student rush tickets, with valid student ID, are available one half hour before the performance.

Carolina Ballet, Inc. has taken its place among America’s premier arts organizations.  Under the innovative direction of artistic director Robert Weiss, a talented company, fiscally responsible management and community support, Carolina Ballet exposes audiences to traditional ballet by legendary masters and new works of contemporary choreographers.  This twelfth season represents the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and ever-increasing quality of life experienced here in North Carolina.

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