The annual event NCPA Dance Festival is to kick off again with Le Corsaire and Giselle, performed by the Ballet Company of Teatro alla Scala. The two works will be staged on August 8th-9th and 10th-11th respectively to the live accompaniment of the National Ballet of China Symphony Orchestra. This will be their first time to visit the NCPA, since 13 years ago in Beijing.
Not only will they visit the NCPA for the first time, but has selected the NCPA as the only stop on its Asian tour. Beijing audiences can feast their eyes on the two grand ballets - Le Corsaire and Giselle - and 13 years has passed since the ballet company made its last visit to Beijing.
This version of Le Corsaire
was composed by Anna-Marie Holmes, a 77-year-old dance master versed in the ballet of the 19th
century, in 1998 for the Boston Ballet. In 2000, she won an Emmy Award for this version of Le Corsaire
rehearsed on the Public Broadcasting Service.
Ballet Le Corsaire
Particularly worth mentioning is that Le Corsaire
, a newly revived one, stands well recognized for its exquisite sets and costume designs, which makes the stage look dreamy. The hand-painted scenery, in abundance, presents a retro painting style: whether it’s a street fair by the Aegean Sea, the deep, dark cave inhabited by the pirates or the luxurious governor garden, it appears magnificent, quaint, exquisite and full of imagination. The bright-coloured costumes, unique in style, add heft to the scenery, making it look like a moving Renaissance oil painting that is slowly unfolding.
Ballet Le Corsaire
In its upcoming Chinese tour, the Ballet Company of Teatro alla Scala will also put on Giselle
, which is also an important Romantic masterpiece. Giselle
, always honoured as “a pearl on the crown of ballet”, is a story about love and forgiveness. The work features a dramatic conflict between the bright, cheerful world and the dark kingdom populated by spirits. Even to this day it is still attractive to the audience because of its glamour and tragic nature.
Based on the original version, the ballet company has modified Giselle in accordance with an improved adaptation by Yvette Chauviré, recognized as “the greatest French ballet dancer”. This version was premiered in 1950 and has been restaged again and again, demonstrating its popularity as a classic. It was due to Chauviré’s consummate skills and perfect interpretation of how an unfortunate girl is betrayed by her lover that enabled the role of “Giselle” to tower above the rest in the classical ballet scene. Accordingly, she and the Teatro alla Scala Ballet have become famous leaders in international dance circles in the middle 20th century.
This time, the ballet company will arrange for its five principal dancers, including Nicoleta Manni, Claudio Coviello, Virna Toppi, Timofej Andrijashenko and Martina Arduino, to perform the two grand ballets in an authentic method for Beijing audiences. It is particularly exciting that Le Corsaire will be performed by nearly everyone who starred in its premiere in 2018.