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The names of Louis Mérante, Léo Staats, Serge Lifar, Albert Aveline, and Lycette Darsonval place Sylvia in a classically French ballet tradition—a tradition to which choreographer extraordinaire Manuel Legris, himself a former étoile dancer for the Paris Opera Ballet, feels a deep attachment. Legris’s new version of Sylvia follows in the lively footsteps of his widely lauded 2016 production of Le Corsaire, astutely highlighting all the subtleties and contrasts of the choreography, beautifully complemented by the magnificent and colorful design that features sumptuous costumes and immersive backdrops by Luisa Spinatelli.
The very first ballet ever performed at Paris’s Palais Garnier in the choreography by Mérante, Sylvia, ou la Nymphe de Diane is based on a play by 16th-century lyric poet Torquato Tasso and set to a lavish and evocative score by Léo Delibes. Since that first performance in 1876, it has gained renown as one of the most important choreographed works of the nineteenth century.
Thursday, November 30, 2023