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Le Corsaire

Maison de la Danse de Lyon 2005 - Director : Picq, Charles

Choreographer(s) : Leimanis, Aivars (Latvia)

Present in collection(s): Maison de la Danse de Lyon

Integral video available at Maison de la danse de Lyon

en fr

Le Corsaire

Maison de la Danse de Lyon 2005 - Director : Picq, Charles

Choreographer(s) : Leimanis, Aivars (Latvia)

Present in collection(s): Maison de la Danse de Lyon

Integral video available at Maison de la danse de Lyon

en fr

Le Corsaire

Loosely based on the 1814 poem The Corsair by Lord Byron, this  classic ballet narrates the story of the passionate pirate Conrad who  falls in love with the beautiful Medora. When Conrad and his pirates  abduct Medora from a slave market to their secret grotto, the adventure  is just about to begin... 



An Eastern bazaar - a hubbub of people and sights at the times when  the Mediterranean Sea was governed by the proud and merciless corsairs -  the Mediterranean pirates! The tricky trader Isaac sells his  foster-daughter - the beautiful Greek girl Medora to a lascivious man of  wealth, Pasha Seyd. A slave trader Ahmed maintains a large-scale erotic  business, supplying beys, sultans, and pashas with the most beautiful  girls from Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Cyprus, Palestine... A flower seller  has a jolly dance and the summer air is shimmering with the haze of heat  and expectations of adventures.

Corsairs introduce an order and justice in this oriental world. Their  leader Conrad returns freedom to Medora, in order to lose his own heart  for her. Conrad's friend Birbanto, in his turn, becomes a captive of  the eyes of the beautiful Turkish girl Gulnare.


The Corsairs' Isle. Corsairs and their girl-friends carouse and share  their stolen bounty. In the handsome Birbanto avidity prevails over  friendliness and companionship. Birbanto instigates corsairs against  Conrad. When his mutinous plan fails, Birbanto devises a cunning scheme -  to drug into sleep or to kill his friend. He succeds in capturing  Medora, but while struggling she cuts the masked Birbanto's arm. Conrad  wakes, finds Medora missing and sets out to find her.


Harem. Pasha Seyd enjoys life - he is entertained by his wives and  odalisques. Yet the most beautiful and unattainable is Gulnare. Isaac  brings Medora. Pasha Seyd is most delighted - the harem has gained its  most brilliant pearl. Pasha's palace is visited by pilgrims. The time of  evening prayer is approaching. Pasha Seyd has no suspicion that the  pilgrims are disguised corsairs. Their pilgrims' robes hide Conrad and  Birbanto - both Medora and Gulnare recognise them. A flash - and masks  are thrown off. Swords and daggers twinkle in the air - and Medora  together with Gulnare are safely in the hands of their beloved men. Yet  Medora notices in Birbanto's hand a note left by her. It is him - the  traitor!

Corsairs' ship. The emerald Mediterranean Sea set a backdrop for the  love idyll of Medora and the corsairs' chief. The moment of happiness is  short, intense, and rich. Gulnare pleads for Conrad to forgive his  friend's treachery. Let everyone be happy! The wind rises and turns into  a fierce storm. Corsairs' ship sinks, only Medora and Conrad reach the  land...

Source: The Latvian National Opera

Leimanis, Aivars

Aivarsis Leimanis the Artistic Director of the Latvian National Ballet Company since 1993.

In 1976 he graduated from the Riga Choreography School. From 1989  until 1995 he studied at The Faculty of Ballet Masters of the Russian  Academy of Theatre Arts (GITIS), speciality of choreographer. In 1995 he  obtained the degree of the Master of Arts.

He was a ballet soloist of the Latvian National Ballet from 1976  until 1996 where his repertoire included leading roles in ballets The Nutcracker, Giselle, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Le Corsaire, Cinderella among others.

He has represented Latvian art in more than 40 countries including the USA, France, China, Great Britain, Argentina etc.

As a guest soloist he has danced together with Bolshoi ballet, Ballet  Philippines, Moscow Festival Ballet and other ballet companies in Czech  Republic, Russia, and Azerbaijan. From 1989 until 1993 he danced in the  Star Group of Vladimir Vasilyev and Yekaterina Maksimova.

At the Latvian National Ballet he has choreographed and staged many ballets: Francesca  da Rimini, The Life, Fuete, Atlantis, La Bayadère, Le Corsaire, Swan  Lake, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Raymonda, Don  Quihote, Coppélia, The Fountain of Bakhchisaray and ballet Karlsson Flies..., and Antonija# Silmači.

Antonija #Silmači received a Latvian Dance Award 2019 as the Best Ballet Production, Karlsson Flies... received the Latvian Great Music Award and special prize of „Latvijas Gāze” as Best Performance of the Year. 

In  2008, Aivars Leimanis received Helēnas Tangijevas – Birznieces  Award for an outstanding achievements in the art of ballet,  in 1999, he  received Players’ night Award for choreography of the ballet Coppélia.   In 2003, he was awarded the Latvian Three-Star Order.

Aivars Leimanis has staged dances for opera Aida (productions in Riga and Slovenia) and opera Rose and Blood, as well as ballet miniatures (Award as the Best Choreographer in Budapest '98). Staged La Corsaire (2016) in Slovenia,  Lake of a Hundred Swans (2013) in Tallinn (co-production of Latvian and Estonian ballet), ballet Giselle (2008), La Corsaire (2018) and Coppelia (2019)  in Croatia.

From 1999 until 2005 he combined the work in Latvian National Ballet  with the position of the Board Member of the Riga City Council. From  1999 until 2001 he was a Chairman of the Committee of Culture, Art and  Religion at the Riga City Council.

He is the Chairman of the Jury at the International Baltic ballet  Competition, Member of Jury in ballet competitions in Korea, Russia,  Sweden, and USA.

Source : Latvian National Opera

Picq, Charles

Author, filmmaker and video artist Charles Picq (1952-2012) entered working life in the 70s through theatre and photography. A- fter resuming his studies (Maîtrise de Linguistique - Lyon ii, Maîtrise des sciences et Techniques de la Communication - grenoble iii), he then focused on video, first in the field of fine arts at the espace Lyonnais d'art Contemporain (ELAC) and with the group « Frigo », and then in dance.
   On creation of the Maison de la Danse in Lyon in 1980, he was asked to undertake a video documentation project that he has continued ever since. During the ‘80s, a decade marked in France by the explosion of contemporary dance and the development of video, he met numerous artists such as andy Degroat, Dominique Bagouet, Carolyn Carlson, régine Chopinot, susanne Linke, Joëlle Bouvier and regis Obadia, Michel Kelemenis. He worked in the creative field with installations and on-stage video, as well as in television with recorded shows, entertainment and documentaries.

His work with Dominique Bagouet (80-90) was a unique encounter. He documents his creativity, assisting with Le Crawl de Lucien and co-directing with his films Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux and 10 anges. in the 90s he became director of video development for the Maison de la Danse and worked, with the support of guy Darmet and his team, in the growing space of theatre video through several initiatives:
       - He founded a video library of dance films with free public access. This was a first for France. Continuing the video documentation of theatre performances, he organised their management and storage.
       - He promoted the creation of a video-bar and projection room, both dedicated to welcoming school pupils.
       - He started «présentations de saisons» in pictures.
       - He oversaw the DVD publication of Le tour du monde en 80 danses, a pocket video library produced by the Maison de la Danse for the educational sector.

       - He launched the series “scènes d'écran” for television and online. He undertook the video library's digital conversion and created Numeridanse.

His main documentaries are: enchaînement, Planète Bagouet, Montpellier le saut de l'ange, Carolyn Carlson, a woman of many faces, grand ecart, Mama africa, C'est pas facile, Lyon, le pas de deux d'une ville, Le Défilé, Un rêve de cirque.

He has also produced theatre films: Song, Vu d'ici (Carolyn Carlson), Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux, 10 anges, Necesito and So schnell, (Dominique Bagouet), Im bade wannen, Flut and Wandelung (Susanne Linke), Le Cabaret Latin (Karine Saporta), La danse du temps (Régine Chopinot), Nuit Blanche (Abou Lagraa), Le Témoin (Claude Brumachon), Corps est graphique (Käfig), Seule et WMD (Françoise et Dominique Dupuy), La Veillée des abysses (James Thiérrée), Agwa (Mourad Merzouki), Fuenteovejuna (Antonio Gades), Blue Lady revistied (Carolyn Carlson).

Source: Maison de la Danse de Lyon

Ballet national de Lettonie

The Latvian National Ballet is the  only professional ballet company in Latvia. The more than ninety-year  history of Latvian ballet has close ties with the finest traditions of  the Russian school of classical ballet. In this way, the classical  Russian ballet traditions were passed down from generation to  generation, and eventually gave the world such ballet stars as Mikhail  Baryshnikov, Māris Liepa, and Alexandr Godunov, each of whom trained  right here in Riga.

The Latvian ballet was born on December 1, 1922 (though the company  had begun to form much earlier - it was founded in 1918 as a part of  Latvian Opera company under the leadership of ballet master Voldemārs  Komisārs). That night, the curtain opened on the company’s first  full-length production, Peter Ludwig Hertel’s La Fille mal Gardée,  which was based on Marius Petipa’s 1885 St. Petersburg production of  the work and was staged by Nikolai Sergeyev. In 1920s, ex-prima  ballerina of Mariinsky Theatre Alexandra Fyodorova, a member of the  renowned Fokin family, began to work as a ballet dancer and  choreographer staging many ballet performances on the basis of Marius  Petipa, Lev Ivanov, and Mikhail Fokin choreography. Under her direction,  the company gained considerable artistic respectability and technical  progress. In 1932, Anatole Viltzak, former ballet soloist of Mariinsky  Theatre, Serge Diaghilev Russian Ballet Company and other famous  European ballet companies, became the head of the LNO Ballet. The  talanted dancer and choreographer Osvalds Lēmanis was the chief ballet  master of the LNO Ballet in 1934-1944. After the Second World War the  ballet was entrusted to Helēna Tangijeva-Birzniece; she had studied in  St. Petersburg with the legendary ballet teacher Agrippina Vaganova.  Helēna Tangijeva-Birzniece was predecessor of Yevgeny Čanga, Irēna  Strode, Aleksandrs Lembergs, Janīna Pankrate, Modris Cers, Lita Beiris  in later years, and Aivars Leimanis who is the LNO Ballet Artistic  Director since 1993.

Today, the Latvian National Ballet’s repertoire is founded on the “pearls” of classical ballet – like GiselleSwan LakeThe NutcrackerDon QuixoteLe CorsaireLa Bayadère – as well as classic productions by contemporary choreographers that have become audience favourites, such as CoppéliaThe Fountain of Bakhchisaray, and The Bright Stream. The legendary choreographer Boris Eifman complex and refined ballet Anna Karenina, the Argentinean choreographer Mauricio Wainrot’s Messiah, and the outstanding Russian choreographer Alla Sigalova’s Othello enrich the repertoire with elements of modern dance and show our dancers’ adeptness in contemporary ballet.

Source: The Latvian National Opera

Le Corsaire

Artistic direction / Conception : Aivars Leimanis

Choreography : Aivars Leimanis

Original music : Piotr Illitch Tchaïkovsky

Lights : David Harvey

Costumes : Vecella Varslavane

Settings : Liga Purmale

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Maison de la Danse de Lyon - Charles Picq, 2005

Duration : 165'

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