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Premiere - Le Corsaire


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The cast of the first performance:

Medora — Ekaterina Borchenko

Conrad — Leonid Sarafanov

Gulnare — Anastasia Soboleva

Pas des esclaves — Asthik Ogannesyan, Victor Lebedev

The cast of the first performance:

Medora — Ekaterina Borchenko

Conrad — Leonid Sarafanov

Gulnare — Anastasia Soboleva

Pas des esclaves — Asthik Ogannesyan, Victor Lebedev

Who is Asthik Ogannesyan? She is a coryphee, but do you have any information on where she trained or what companies she has danced in before?

Also, there is another dancer I do not know - Vera Sabantseva - who dances Gulnare with Lebedev - do have any information on her?

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Isn't Lebedev the slave even if he's not named Ali in the production. (First photo above)

He is dressed like Ali to me, so you could be right, but it looks like he is dancing Lankedem (Lankedem dances a pdd with Gulnare when he shows her off to the Pasha). Of course, I haven't seen this production, so things could be different from the Mariinsky version, although the Mikhailovsky's is supposedly based on the Sergeyev version. Maybe the Mik has melded both Lankedem and Ali into one character (traits of both)? Has anyone on BA actually seen this version to let us know?

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Isn't Lebedev the slave even if he's not named Ali in the production. (First photo above)

He is dressed like Ali to me, so you could be right, but it looks like he is dancing Lankedem (Lankedem dances a pdd with Gulnare when he shows her off to the Pasha). Of course, I haven't seen this production, so things could be different from the Mariinsky version, although the Mikhailovsky's is supposedly based on the Sergeyev version. Maybe the Mik has melded both Lankedem and Ali into one character (traits of both)? Has anyone on BA actually seen this version to let us know?

No I think he's just dancing in the Pas d'esclave, which this productions seems to be following the original concept of.

In most productions today, the Pas d'esclave is danced by Gulnare and Lanquedem, but in fact, it's supposed to be danced by two anonymous slaves, who never appear in the ballet again. Lanquedem is meant to be a purely mimed role and Gulnare isn't supposed to make her first appearance until Act 2.

The Pas d'esclave has a very interesting history. It was added to Le Corsaire in 1857 when Jules Perrot brought the ballet to Russia; it made its Russian début in St Petersburg. At this time, Petipa was the premier danseur with the Imperial Ballet (now the Mariinsky Ballet) and he danced Conrad in the St Petersburg première of Le Corsaire. He also assisted Perrot in rehearsals and added and arranged some of the key dances, including the Grand Pas des eventails in Act 1, scene 2 (which was later replaced with the so-called Le Corsaire Pas de deux). It was also in this production that Petipa arranged and added the Pas des Odalisques.

Dancing Medora in the première was the guest Prima Ballerina, Ekaterina Friedburg, which greatly angered the Imperial Ballet's native Prima Ballerina, Marfa Muravieva. In the previous years, Petipa had choreographed some one-act ballets for the Imperial Ballet, one of which was The Rose, the Violet and the Butterfly, to music by Duke Pyotr Georgievich of Oldenburg in 1856 and in this ballet, Mme. Muravieva created the lead role of the Butterfly. So in order to quickly placate her for not being cast as Medora, Petipa extracted her central pas from The Rose, the Violet and the Butterfly and interpolated it into the first act of Le Corsaire so that Mme. Muravieva could still be in the production. The pas was rechristened the Pas d'esclave and it's been in Le Corsaire ever since.

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The Mikhailovsky's website does list him in the "pas des esclaves" (their spelling) but the funny thing is that Messerer makes a big deal in an article on the same website about basing this new version on the 1970s Kirov Sergeyev version (although apparently Sergeyev kept changing things or adding things over the years), so sticking Lankedem in as the male with Gulnare during the pas des esclaves as the Mariinsky does today must not be Sergeyev's 1970 version....Is it Gusev's version that changes the slave into the slave trader Lankedem?......for me personally the ur-original is not what is interesting to know.....knowing what was added, deleted, re-added, and reasons why (although we may never know) are even more interesting than actual reconstructions or "originals".....the changes over the years are fascinating, and this new Mikhailovsky version is apparently an attempt to recreate the 1970s Kirov version that apparently the Mariinsky no longer does.

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The Mikhailovsky's website does list him in the "pas des esclaves" (their spelling) but the funny thing is that Messerer makes a big deal in an article on the same website about basing this new version on the 1970s Kirov Sergeyev version (although apparently Sergeyev kept changing things or adding things over the years), so sticking Lankedem in as the male with Gulnare during the pas des esclaves as the Mariinsky does today must not be Sergeyev's 1970 version....Is it Gusev's version that changes the slave into the slave trader Lankedem?......for me personally the ur-original is not what is interesting to know.....knowing what was added, deleted, re-added, and reasons why (although we may never know) are even more interesting than actual reconstructions or "originals".....the changes over the years are fascinating, and this new Mikhailovsky version is apparently an attempt to recreate the 1970s Kirov version that apparently the Mariinsky no longer does.

Yes the current version danced by the Mariinsky is Gusev's and I really wish they would change it because it really is an awful production. And I'm not just saying that because I hate Ali lol. They really need a new production of Le Corsaire and Yuri Burlaka and Alexei Ratmansky's revival would certainly be a good option!

Interestingly, Medora is supposed to be Lanquedem's ward and he doesn't originally intend to sell her, until the Pasha makes him an offer he can't refuse. And it may have been Gusev who made Lanquedem into a dance role and gave the Pas d'escalve to him and Gulnare, but I really don't know. It was Gusev's production that made "Ali the slave" into a character in the ballet, but in all honesty, he is not much of a character; I have no idea what he's doing here!

Sorry I can't answer all your questions, Birdsall regarding reasons, but at least I could explain why the Pas d'esclave ended up in Le Corsaire. I can only guess that maybe these changes were made in regards to the evolution in technique and so that the ballet would have more dancing, especially for the men, but that is just a guess on my part. For all I know, I could be very wrong.

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Principals Irina Perren and Marat Shemiounov (her husband) has been fired from Mikhailovsky. This was due to the fact that Perren did not perform at Le Corsaire on September 12th and performed in a gala in Monte Carlo instead.

http://www.mikhailovsky.ru/press/news/izmenenie_v_sostave/

Their profiles has disappeared from the company roster.

Terrible news as Perren is a truly brilliant prima ballerina.

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The note from the Mikhailovsky about the cast change cited Perren's "unauthorized departure from Saint Petersburg." Since Shemiunov accompanied her to Monaco, presumably his absence was equally unauthorized, even if he hadn't been scheduled to perform in Le Corsaire that evening.

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Sad to learn of this...When the company came to NY, I loved Perren's performance in Flames of Paris (and her flamboyant acrobatic pas de deux with Shemiunov was a special highlight at the last performance I saw--on a Saturday night).

I've read fabulous things about a number of her roles -- notably Giselle and Medora. This seems really unfortunate...

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Ekaterina Borchenko

Pas de deux from Act 2. This is a tape from the last performance - Borchenko was urgently called to replace Perren and she danced with Ivan Vasiliev. Not only that she is taller than him, but they had to perform after a single rehearsal made just before the show. I think they did it well!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8F9K6MquoTs

Le Jardin Anime. This is Ekaterina's top scene!

pt 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4kSsLxp6zc

pt 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N987iB4tukA

pt 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPKDGpiGCrg

Final love scene (with Ivan Vasiliev):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2ZLSpZ5fI4

Angelina Vorontsova

Variation from Act 1:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0QSzQSAyIc

A lovely dance of "the little corsaire":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GICeFEWOTb0

Pas de deux (with Leonid Sarafanov)

Adagio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZprJLao29nw

Variation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVrSQNWC274

Coda: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoChrnAsmqw

Leonid Sarafanov

Conrad's variation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piHzEYpkHag

Ivan Vasiliev

Other variation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yMHtkyF79g

Enjoy!!! :wub::wub:

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