La Péri – Ballet in two acts

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Vladimir Malakhov has drawn inspiration from historic lithographs to create a new staging of the romantic ballet LA PÉRI for the Staatsballett Berlin. Like the sylphids, the wilis and all the other unattainable fairy and elfin beings that populated the 19th century ballet stage in great numbers and in many new interpretations, the péris are oriental heavenly creatures that embody Prince Achmed’s yearning for another form of existence. A beautiful péri appears to him with her retinue and promises him redemption: she promises that the barrier between Heaven and Earth can be overcome by the power of love. The ballet LA PÉRI was first performed in 1843 at the Paris Opéra. Friedrich Burgmüller composed the music, and Théophile Gautier’s libretto was translated into dance by the choreographer Jean Coralli. Vladimir Malakhov’s interpretation of the ballet is expressed in a refined and delicate dance style, which was characteristic of the romantic era and follows naturally from the music. The stage and costume designer, Jordi Roig, has lovingly created an opulent, historic setting in which the atmosphere of the exotic scene is brought to life and the ballet can work its unique magic. [Source]

Rudolf Nureyev gala at the Paris Opera

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Twenty years after his death, Rudolf Nureyev’s legacy still lights up the world of ballet as brilliantly as the flamboyant performances which once illuminated the greatest stages.

“As long as they are putting on my ballets, I will live on,” Brigitte Lefevre, dance director of the Paris Opera, recalls Nureyev saying in the years before the ravages of AIDS finally claimed him, aged 54, on January 6, 1993.

A fitting epitaph for a performer who went from being the outstanding male dancer of his generation to a choreographer whose influence resonates throughout modern ballet.

The Paris Opera hosts a gala night on Sunday, with his “Sleeping Beauty” running as part of its 2013/2014 season and his “Nutcracker” in 2014/2015.

London’s Royal Ballet this month stages Nureyev’s “Raymonda”, followed next month by “Marguerite and Armand”, while the Vienna Opera ballet plans a Nureyev gala on June 29 and San Francisco’s De Young Museum is showcasing his stage costumes until February.

And come September, the Kremlin ballet will perform his “Cinderella” — a milestone for Russia, where authorities stung by his defection blacked out all information about him even as his international career soared.

A posthumous homecoming for Nureyev, who had returned to his native land after 26 years in exile, only to find his ailing mother did not recognize him, and the Russian public knew nothing of his stellar rise.

Read the full article here.

Photo: Nureyev in his Paris apartment.