Behind the scene of Le Corsaire (Photo by Egypt Today staff) Behind the scene of Le Corsaire (Photo by Egypt Today staff)

‘Le Corsaire’ to enrich Cairo Ballet Company in new season

Sun, Oct. 1, 2017
CAIRO – 1 October 2017: After two and a half years of absence, Italian ballet “Le Corsaire,” inaugurated the ballet season at Cairo Opera House from September 29 to October 2.

Directed by the late stage director and founder of the Cairo Ballet Company, Abdel Moneim Kamel, “Le Corsaire” has first staged in Russian theaters, and has been originally created by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges based on the poem “The Corsair” by Lord Byron.

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Behind the scene of Le Corsaire (Photo by Egypt Today staff)

The revived version of the three-act ballet has been recreated and choreographed by Marius Petipa; while being led by artistic director Erminia Kamel who spoke with Egypt Today on Wednesday about her choice of staging “Le Corsaire” for the opening of the ballet season.

“‘Le Corsaire’ was chosen as the season’s opening act because it is has links to the oriental culture and is very enjoyable. It was first directed by Abdel Moneim Kamel over 15 years ago and I was the first one to dance in it when it was first introduced in Egypt,” Kamel told Egypt Today.

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Behind the scene of Le Corsaire (Photo by Egypt Today staff)

The ballet’s plot revolves around a group of pirates who were forced to arrive at a specific island due to a raging storm. The pirates meet some girls controlled by the Pasha, who sells them in the market as slaves. Subsequently, two pirates fall in love with two of the girls and they manage to free them along with the other girls from the Pasha’s capture.

Kamel also mentioned that “Le Corsaire” has been absent from stage for two and a half years as part of the usual refreshing process that repertoires undergo by the Cairo Ballet Company, where each year a certain ballet performance comes to stage from time to time after being absent for a while.

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Behind the scene of Le Corsaire (Photo by Egypt Today staff)

“I want to keep our repertoire fresh. The repertoire I have includes ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ ‘Swan Lake,’ ‘The Nutcracker,’ and ‘Cinderella,’ and each year I add one new classical production. Last year it was ‘Coppelia’ and this year it is ‘La Bayadere.’ In all our five seasons, I manage to keep at least four previous productions. ‘Le Corsaire’ doesn’t stage every year but it stays in the repertoire and is staged from time to time,” Kamel explained.

When asked about the differences between today’s version of “Le Corsaire” and the previous versions displayed, Kamel emphasized that the choreography is the same [being modified previously by Abdel Moneim Kamel]; with the only difference being in the expressions of the performers.

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Behind the scene of Le Corsaire (Photo by Egypt Today staff)

“I am very keen on keeping the original choreography; however different casts of dancers performing the same performance will help you tell the difference, because each dancer portrays different expressions showing their own character on display,” Kamel keenly expressed.

Kamel also spoke about what is in store for ballet season in the upcoming period and in 2018. She stated that after concluding the ongoing four performances of “Le Corsaire,” the Cairo Ballet Company will prepare for other ballets including “The Nutcracker,” which will display by the end of December, and “Swan Lake” which will display in January.

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Behind the scene of Le Corsaire (Photo by Egypt Today staff)

She also added that the season will feature classical ballet, “La Bayadere,” for the first time in the repertoire, as it has never been performed by the Cairo Ballet Company before. Rehearsals for “La Bayadere” will end in mid February, where the company will then rehearse for “Carmina Burana,” scheduled to stage in April.

“After finishing these rehearsals and performances, Cairo Ballet Company will resume rehearsals for “La Bayadere,” which is scheduled to be performed in May,” added Kamel.

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Behind the scene of Le Corsaire (Photo by Egypt Today staff)

Cairo Ballet Company will stop performing after May, as it will begin preparations for the next ballet season.

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Behind the scene of Le Corsaire (Photo by Egypt Today staff)

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Behind the scene of Le Corsaire (Photo by Egypt Today staff)

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Behind the scene of Le Corsaire (Photo by Egypt Today staff)

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Behind the scene of Le Corsaire (Photo by Egypt Today staff)

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Behind the scene of Le Corsaire (Photo by Egypt Today staff)
 
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