Boston Ballet Captivates with a Riveting ‘Le Corsaire’

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Boston Ballet’s beautiful and distinguished production of Ivan Liška’s “Le Corsaire” kicked off the new season, taking on a different interpretation of the classical ballet on last Thursday’s opening night.

A mystical, adventurous ambience filled the room as the curtains rose. A faint silhouette of a  pirate boat appeared behind a screen of misty swirling clouds.

“Le Corsaire” featured the beautiful Medora, played by Seo Hye Han, and Conrad, played by Lasha Khozashvili. Conrad was the leader of the band of corsairs, more commonly known as pirates. The two instantly fell in love, only to be separated by Medora’s father, a slave trader, who sold her to the wealthy Pasha.

In rebellious fashion, Medora and Conrad eloped, followed by the band of corsairs. This was done successfully with the help of the slave Ali, Irlan Silva, who joined them in their escape.

The opening peasant dance was a clamoring scene; the dancers moved in a colorfully bustling fashion. This differed from what we normally see in the opening acts of ballets, where the peasant dances are much more organized and coordinated.

The corps engaged in a whirlwind of miming conversation and activity that transcended the energy from the stage to the audience. Although disorienting, it established a wonderfully lively and turbulent scene.

The Corsairs performed some of the most memorable moments, captivating the audience with their skilled flexibility and power in highly synchronized movements.

In most classical ballets, such as “Swan Lake” and “Giselle,” the male dancers of the corps don’t have many opportunities to flaunt their talents beyond lifting the female dancers. “Le Corsaire” differed from this with several scenes in which this group of male dancers demonstrated their strength. These dances were easily some of the most memorable in the show. Not only was their flexibility and power highlighted, but their synchronization was captivating.

In Act Two, the skills of Han and Khozashvili were emphasized. In the grand pas de deux, Medora and Conrad performed together, followed by their respective solos, before coming together again. In each, their astonishing talents were spotlighted, beginning with Medora and Conrad performing a romantic duet.

It was at this point where Han embodied her incredible strength and precision. Polished and exact in every movement, she executed intricate actions effortlessly.

Khozashvili’s solo was exceptional as he solidly glided through the air, carrying out some of the most stable pirouette a la seconde.

Khozashvili and Han stunned as a pair and it was especially impressive when Han executed breathtaking fouette turns.

The final act revealed the extravagant palace of the Pasha and his glittering harem of beautiful women. The dancers in this scene were impeccably graceful and performed almost impossibly in sync with each other.

The female dancers’ flowy and delicate movements created a dreamlike quality. The Pasha’s favorite vassal, Gulnara, played by Lira Cirio, was a thrillingly dramatic performer.

Another standout was the perfectly exact and steady pas de trois, where Medora was forced to join the women as they danced for the Pasha’s entertainment. Donned in shimmering costumes embellished in gold, every single movement appeared remarkably fluid.

It was not long before Conrad and his corsairs entered, disguised as pilgrims, with a plan to rescue Medora. After a series of ornate festivities, they created a distraction that allowed them to escape with Medora.

Sailing off to embark on another adventure, they left the audience on the edge of their seats imagining the thrilling future that awaits them.

Don’t miss the show! Get your tickets here and join the social media conversation with @bostonballet #BBLeCorsaire

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