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Arts Calendar / February 20 / Ballet
La Sylphide
12:00, 19:00. Ballet in two acts to music by Herman Severin Levenskiold. 105 min. Libretto by Adolphe Nourrit and Philippo Taglioni. Choreography by August Bournonville. La Sylphide was the first major Romantic ballet and it is one of the oldest still regularly performed. It remains to this day not just a historical landmark, but a vital and thrilling example of the art of storytelling in dance. On 12 March 1832 the first version of La Sylphide premiered at the Salle Le Peletier of the Paris Opéra with choreography by the groundbreaking Italian choreographer Filippo Taglioni and music by Jean-Madeleine Schneitzhoeffer. In 1892, Marius Petipa mounted a revival of Taglioni's original La Sylphide for the Imperial Ballet, with additional music by Riccardo Drigo. A variation Drigo composed for the ballerina Varvara Nikitina in Petipa's version is today the traditional solo danced by the lead ballerina of the famous Paquita Grand Pas Classique. In 1972, a new version of La Sylphide, based on the Taglioni version, was choreographed and staged by Pierre Lacotte for the Paris Opera Ballet. Since Taglioni's choreography has been irretrievably lost, Lacotte's choreography is based on prints, notes, drawings, and archival materials from the era of the ballet's premiere. Interpreters of the role of Lacotte's version at the Opera National de Paris include Ghislaine Thesmar (Lacotte's wife) and Aurelie Dupont. The ballet relates the story of a young Scottish farmer, James, who, on the eve of their wedding, abandons his betrothed, Effie, after being enticed away to the forest by the ethereal Sylphide of the title. But when the Sylphide dies and Effie marries another, James is left tragically alone.
Bolshoi Theater New Stage 
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