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History of La Sylphide

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The premiere of “La Sylphide” on May 14, 1832 in Paris heralded a new era in the history of dance.  The old classical and popular themes were suddenly overshadowed by an enchanted world where elementals and spirits mingled with humans.  Romantic ballet was born and Romanticism’s first ballerina, Marie Taglioni became a legendary success.  Dancing “sur les pontes,” she created a vision of ethereal and poetic beauty that before this, had been unseen in ballet.  Her father Filipo Taglioni had created the work for her from a libretto by the opera singer Adolphe Nourrit, and it remained in the repertoire of the Paris Opera until 1860.

In July 1830, August Bournonville, already an experienced choreographer with his own method of training dancers, was appointed director of ballet at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen.  It was here he discovered the young dancer Lucile Grahn, whom he felt would be ideal for the part of “La Sylphide.”  She consequently accompanied him on his trip to Paris in May 1834 to see a performance of the ballet.  The original score by Jean Schneitzerhoeffer was too expensive, but, the day before leaving Paris, Bournonville bought a copy of the programme for 2 francs and 10 sous.  On the return home, Lucile was given her first important role as Astrid in Bournonville’s production of “Valdemar” (1835) in preparation for her part in “La Sylphide.”

Bournonville carefully worked out the plot of his ballet from the Paris programme before starting on his own version of “La Sylphide.”  A new score was composed by the 21 year old Baron Herman S. Løvenskiold, which filled the ballet with fresh vitality and the role of James was made more demanding for Bournonville himself to dance.

The premiere at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen on November 28, 1836 was a tremendous success.  Lucile Grahn started a career, which in a few years was to make her internationally famous, and Bournonville went on to create many more ballets.

Much to his annoyance, the ballet was generally regarded as a copy of Taglioni’s, but it is a triumph for him that it still survives today.  The French version vanished from stage as the great ballerinas died out and it was only in Russia that “La Sylphide” stay alive into the 20th century, before it, too finally disappeared.

Bournonville’s Danish version, however has remained in the repertoire of the Royal Danish Ballet, and has been handed down from generation to generation without any break in tradition.  It is probably the work that has best preserved the spirit and style of that era.

Colorado Ballet presents:
La Sylphide
October 2-11, 2015
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
With live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra
http://tickets.coloradoballet.org/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=1550 

Maria Mosina celebrates 20th season at Colorado Ballet

Monday, September 21, 2015

Principal dancer Maria Mosina is interviewed about her 20th season with Colorado Ballet.

Photos courtesy of Maria Mosina.

Artists of Colorado Ballet rehearse La Sylphide - Madge tells fortunes

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Artists of Colorado Ballet rehearse La Sylphide - Madge tells fortunes

La Sylphide
October 2-11, 2015
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
With live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra
http://coloradoballet.org

Interview with Maria Mosina about La Sylphide - Part 2

Friday, September 18, 2015

This is part 2 of interview with Colorado Ballet principal dancer Maria Mosina about La Sylphide. It includes performance footage of Maria Mosina and Alexei Tyukov.

La Sylphide
October 2-11, 2015
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
With live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra
http://coloradoballet.org

Interview with Maria Mosina about La Sylphide - Part I

Thursday, September 17, 2015

This is part 1 of an interview with Colorado Ballet principal dancer Maria Mosina about La Sylphide.  It includes performance footage of Maria Mosina and Alexei Tyukov.

La Sylphide
October 2-11, 2015
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
With live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra
http://coloradoballet.org

Getting to know the new dancers: Sarah Tryon

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

 Get to know Colorado Ballet's new corps de ballet dancer Sarah Tryon:

  1. Where are you from?
    Sudbury, Ontario. (Canada)
     
  2. Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
    I trained at Canada’s National Ballet School from age 12, and upon graduating, trained briefly in Zurich Switzerland at Tanz Akademie Zurich. Afterwards, I moved to New York City to train with Edward Ellison. I was hired from school as a corps de ballet member for the Sarasota Ballet, in which I spent two seasons before joining Colorado Ballet.
     
  3. What did you do with your summer break?
    I packed up my car and drove from Sarasota to Denver!
     
  4. What age did you first start dancing? What do you remember from your first class?
    I was 12 years old when I started dancing, and I honestly do not remember my first class. I do remember begging my parents to let me audition for Canada’s National Ballet School. I had been taking ballet class for maybe three weeks at that point…they thought I was crazy!
     
  5. What was your first ballet you remember attending?
    The first ballet I attended was Giselle, performed by the National Ballet of Canada.
     
  6. Who are your ballet role models? Dancers that inspire you.
    Maria Kochetvoka.
     
  7. Favorite ballets to dance? Which are favorite to watch?
    I don’t have any specific ballets that I like to dance, but anything that I feel is a challenge and helps me grow as dancer, usually becomes a favorite for me.  The most recent ballet I’ve felt that challenge with would have to be Paul Taylor’s Company B.
     
    Favorite to watch:  John Cranko’s Onegin, Hans Van Manen’s Les Trois Gnossiennes, Jerome Robbin’s Glass Pieces, Christopher Wheeldon’s Chroma, and Ulysses Dove’s Red Angels and Vespers.
     
  8. What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
    I love to read, I am a total bookworm. I also like handiwork, I am always painting something or changing things around in my apartment.  An old friend of mine taught me how to make leotards, so sometimes I will get inspiration and create myself a new leotard for work. A good cup of coffee and conversations with friends is also a favorite.
     
  9. What are some of your indulgences?
    A good beer. Ramen noodles. Tarantino Movies. Travel, and Home décor blogs. Attempting to learn new languages (I am working on German and Japanese right now)
     
  10. Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals?
    Actually, I don't! I prepare myself according to how I feel that day.
Sarah Tryon by Allen Birnbach

Getting to know the new dancers: Megan Dillon

Monday, September 14, 2015

Get to know Colorado Ballet's new corps de ballet dancer Megan Dillon:

  1. Where are you from?
    I am from Tinton Falls, NJ
     
  2. Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
    After graduation from The Rock School I danced with Charlotte Ballet 2 and then Ballet Met 2 before joining Colorado Ballet.
     
  3. What did you do with your summer break?
    I spent some long overdue time with my family home in NJ this summer.
     
  4. What age did you first start dancing? What do you remember from your first class?
    I started dancing when I was 3 years old. I remember running around in a circle and holding hands with my classmates and not enjoying it at all.
     
  5. What was your first ballet you remember attending? What do you remember about it?
    The first ballet I remember attending is The Nutcracker. I remember loving the music and the Sugar Plum and Cavalier.
     
  6. Who are your ballet role models? Dancers that inspire you.
    My ballet role models would have to be Sara Mearns and Tiler Peck from New York City Ballet. You can tell the minute they step on stage they take no moment for granted.
     
  7. Favorite ballets to dance?  Which are favorite to watch?
    My favorite ballets to dance are Balanchine ballets. They are so technically challenging and physically exhausting but once you perform them you feel very fulfilled. I love to watch William Forsythe’s ballets. I would love to get the chance to perform one some day.
     
  8. What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
    In my free time I love to take yoga, cook/bake, and explore the lovely city of Denver.
      
  9. What are some of your indulgences?
    Chocolate, wine, a massage, and painting my nails
     
  10. Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals?
    I always take a moment to remember why I love to dance. Then I take a couple deep breaths to clear my head and calm my nerves.

Megan Dillon by Allen Birnbach

Getting to know the new dancers: Kristine Padgett

Friday, September 11, 2015

Get to know Colorado Ballet's new corps de ballet dancer Kristine Padgett:

  1. Where are you from?
    I am from Littleton, Colorado.
     
  2. Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
    I started at the age of three at Belliston Ballet where I passed 8 levels of Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) exams with distinction (highest grade), as well as 3 levels of the cecchetti method with pass plus (highest mark). I began studying the Vaganova method at age 11 at the Colorado Ballet Academy in 2006, and continued my training in the Russian style with a year long study in Moscow, Russia at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy for the 2012-2013 school year. I then returned to Colorado Ballet as a studio company member, and have been with them for the past 2 seasons.
     
  3. What did you do with your summer break?
    I rock climbed, surfed, finished a semester of college, and of course did some ballet classes.
     
  4. What was your first ballet you remember attending? What do you remember about it?
    My first professional ballet I ever saw was The Nutcracker by Colorado Ballet. The sad thing was, it was postponed because the dancing bear that was once in the first act, fell off the stage and into the orchestra pit.
     
  5. Favorite ballets to dance? Which are favorite to watch?
    I would have to say my favorite ballet is Don Quixote because there is so much character to bring to the stage and the whole ballet is so lively! I really love watching all the new contemporary ballets that are premiering around the world.
     
  6. What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
    Most of my free time is spent studying for school, but when I get my work done, I love going rock climbing with my boyfriend, or just relaxing and cooking a good meal.
     
  7. What are some of your indulgences?
    I cannot resist Sour Patch Kids or French fries

  8. Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals?
    Since there are showers in the dressing rooms at the Ellie, I like to get my hair and make-up done and then hope in a nice hot shower to get my blood moving before the show. I don’t get my head wet, just the shoulders down, but it makes me feel clean, warm and ready for the show.
Kristine Padgett by Allen Birnbach

 

Getting to know the new dancers: Yosvani Ramos

Wednesday, September 09, 2015
 Get to know Colorado Ballet's new principal dancer Yosvani Ramos:
  1. Where are you from?
    Camagüey, Cuba
     
  2. Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
    I trained at the Cuban National Ballet School then after graduating I danced for two years in Paris at Le Jeune Ballet de France and Paris Opera Ballet, then nine years in London with English National Ballet, five in Australia with the Australian Ballet and last season I danced with Cincinnati Ballet.

  3. What did you do with your summer break?
    I taught in Chicago for two months then in England at a summer school for two weeks.
     
  4. What age did you first start dancing? What do you remember from your first class?
    I was ten years old and all I remember from my first class is thinking "why do I have to hold on to this barre for two hours? I want to do tricks!" So I thought it was pretty boring. I didn't know I needed to learn the basics before I could do tricks.
     
  5. What was your first ballet you remember attending? What do you remember about it?
    Medea with the company in Cuba. I thought the story was scary!! Who are your ballet role models?

  6. Dancers that inspire you.
    Baryshnikov and Carlos Acosta.
     
  7. Favorite ballets to dance? Which are favorite to watch?
    To dance Romeo & Juliet, Manon, Don Quixote and Giselle.
    To watch Onegin.
     
  8. What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
    I like relaxing at home. I'm obsessed with watching series on Netflix!
    I also like cooking and entertaining at home and traveling.

  9. What are some of your indulgences?
    Traveling around the world.
     
  10. Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals?
    I say a little prayer always before going onstage and also lots of affirmations. It helps me deal with the nerves. 
Yosvani Ramos by Allen Birnbach

 

Highlights from La Sylphide

Friday, September 04, 2015

This video includes highlights from the La Sylphide pas de deux featuring Maria Mosina and Alexei Tyukov from An Evening under the Stars at the Arvada Center.

Click here to learn more about La Sylphide.

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