Palace Theatre Manchester
Tuesday 11 – Saturday 15 February
English National Ballet is bringing its swashbuckling new production of the classic 19th Century ballet Le Corsaire (The Pirate) to the Palace Theatre, Manchester, next month.
The spectacular new production of Le Corsaire offers audiences the chance to escape to a magical world of pirates, love and jealousy.
With sets designed by legendary Hollywood film designer Bob Ringwood, this lavish production is set in a world of sumptuous Turkish palaces and gardens, within which the story of a dashing pirate Conrad and his love affair for Medora, a beautiful harem girl.
Based on the poem The Corsair (1814) by Lord Byron, the story transports audiences from a busy marketplace to hidden caves, through sumptuous palaces to the dramatic conclusion aboard a pirate ship culminating in a shipwreck which is one of the most breathtaking spectacles in ballet.
Over 60 dancers are accompanied by a live symphony orchestra performing an exquisite re-orchestrated score. Le Corsaire offers the chance to see some of the most magnificent male dancing and also features one of the most iconic pas de deux in ballet.
The thrilling story and scale of this production make it ideal for all ages, as well as regulars and newcomers to ballet.
English National Ballet is one of the world’s most respected ballet companies and this production represents the first full scale version of the ballet developed anywhere in the UK.
Artistic Director Tamara Rojo said: “Le Corsaire is one of the great classics created by Marius Petipa for the Mariinsky Theatre.
“Like all great Russian classics it is a true epic story that offers drama, an exotic landscape and the best pyrotechnics of the classic technique.
“It’s a men’s ballet, with heroic and passionate characters and with the famous pas de deux that made a legend of Nureyev when he first performed in England with Dame Margot Fonteyn. This is a unique and unmissable opportunity as it has never before been performed by a British company.
“I am excited that this is a ballet with four male principal roles. Unlike many of the classics it will give great opportunities to the men in the Company to show off their skills and athleticism.
“We are also re-orchestrating the work because there have been many additions over the years. I want the music to sound more romantic and cleaner as it would have originally.”
The costumes have been designed by Bob Ringwood, whose film credits include Batman. Alien 3, Star Trek Nemesis and Troy.
He explains his ambitions for the Le Corsaire: “Designing Le Corsaire I thought it would be interesting to bring out the romantic and historic elements of the original ballet. I hope to capture the flavour of the Romantic period in which it was first staged.
“The sets and costumes are based on original paintings, prints and engravings of the mid 19th. Century to capture and infuse the essence of the period. I felt it was important to bring out the romantic, sensual and erotic elements of the piece,that have been so neglected in recent productions.
“The sensuality of the women and bravado and swagger of the men, for us all to enjoy those heavily scented and perfumed Arabian Nights that so captivated Orientalist painters and writers of the second half of the 19th Century.”
English National Ballet Le Corsaire
Monday 11 to Saturday 15 Feb
Palace Theatre, Manchester
Tickets: £10 – £44.90
0844 871 3018*
(Subject to transaction fee)
Groups of 10+: 0844 871 3038 (No booking fee. Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm)