Sunday, 2 April 2017

Le Corsaire Intensive

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One of the grandest ballets in the classical cannon but least performed here is Le Corsaire. Originally choreographed by Joseph Mazilier to a score by Adolphe Adam for the Ballet of the Paris Imperial Opera House in 1856 it was extensively revised by Marius Petipa for the Imperial Russian Ballet in St Petersburg. All the versions that are danced today in Russia and elsewhere derive from Petipa's revival. The ballet is in the repertoires of a number of companies including that of the English National Ballet. I saw it in the Palace Theatre on 14 Feb 2014 (see English National Ballet's Le Corsaire - a Valentine's Day Treat 16 Feb 2014).

As you can see from the synopsis on the Bolshoi's website it is a thrilling action-packed story based loosely on Lord Byron's poem. There are some great roles for the leads Conrad and Medora as well as the treacherous Birbanto and Gulnare, the beautiful slave girl. If there was any ballet the repertoire of which I would love to learn it would be this one. And there is an opportunity to do just that on15 April 2017 when Jane Tucker of Northern Ballet Academy will present a full day intensive workshop in the studios of the Dancehouse Theatre on  Oxford Road in Manchester for KNT.

This will be Jane's fifth repertoire intensive. I have attended all the previous ones and I can't recommend them too highly, For an idea of what to expect, see my report of The Nutcracker intensive last October in Sugar Plum for an Hour 30 Oct 2016. The day starts with gentle floor exercises on Pilates mats, gears up with a 90-minute class which is exactly like Jane's Wednesday evening class in Leeds which is, to say the least, challenging. Then wall to wall rehearsals with an hour's break for lunch concluding with a show before our principal, Karen Sant at about 16:00, Now, however fit you may think you are, I guarantee that you will leave the Dancehouse knackered. Knackered but happy because you will have achieved a lot.

The fee for the intensive is £60 and places are filling up like nobody/s business. To book your place call Karen on 07783 103 037, send her an email on or contact her through Facebook.

If you are lucky enough to get in I am as jealous as hell because I have to take a raincheck this Easter. I have not seen my family in London for yonks and my grandson manquḗ, Vlad the Lad, is growing like mushrooms on steroids. This Easter we shall be celebrating Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve, Vlad's birthday, my birthday and mothers' day plus Easter all rolled into one. I can't leave them hanging around on their tod all day while I pretend to be Gulnare on one their precious visits.

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