“Le Corsaire”: A Swashbuckling Night at the Boston Ballet

Khozashvili (left) and Han (right) perform in a dress rehearsal for Boston Ballet's production "Le Corsaire" at the Boston Opera House, Oct. 26, 2016. Photo by Kankanit Wiriyasajja/BU News Service
Written by Eesha Pendharkar

By Eesha Pendharkar
BU News Service

The Boston Ballet opened its 2016-2017 season this week with the North American premiere of Ivan Liška’s Le Corsaire, also referred to as the “pirate ballet,” and the show is as exciting as you’d expect any pirate ballet to be.

Le Corsaire is the story of a merchant’s daughter, Medora, and pirate, Conrad, who fall in love at first sight before Conrad attempts to rescue Medora from being sold to the Pasha’s harem. It might be easier to follow the performance if you have read up on the story before. Other main characters include the merchant Lankedem, his slave Ali, the pirate Birbanto, the Pasha and his favorite slave, Gulnara. 

The ballet is exquisitely choreographed with close attention to detail, from the props to the sets that include a marketplace, a pirate island and a live flower garden. The costumes are a perfect balance of pirates and ballet, a tough combination to blend successfully. The performance unfolds through exciting action scenes and romantic duets, which make the performance completely captivating. The dancers are almost unreal with their level of skill, and the music tells the story more effectively than words could.

As a fun twist for its promotion of Le Corsaire, Boston Ballet created a treasure hunt for its fans. The hunt involves finding five clues hidden in different locations around the city. Through its Facebook page, Boston Ballet posted clues and passwords to be given at the locations to obtain more clues to continue the hunt. The winner of the treasure hunt will get two tickets to Le Corsaire and a one-night stay at the Ritz Carlton.

Le Corsaire will be performed at the Boston Opera House until November 6. Tickets range from $35 to $149, but student rush tickets are just $25. Boston Ballet offers a student subscription for $25 per performance, which guarantees a seat, though on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are going fast, so buy yours now if you’re interested.

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