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Classical Ballet Herman von Lovenskjold "La Sylphide" (ballet in two acts)
World famous Mariinsky Ballet and Opera - established 1783

Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes (till 20:40)

The performance has 1 intermission

Schedule for Herman von Lovenskjold "La Sylphide" (ballet in two acts) 2022

Composer: Herman von Lovenskjold
Set Designer: Vyacheslav Okunev
Choreography: August Bournonville
Costume Designer: Irina Press

Orchestra: Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra
Ballet company: Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet

Classical Ballet in 2 act

World premiere: 28 November 1836, Royal Danish Ballet, Copenhagen
Premiere of this production: 01 December 1981, Kirov Theatre of Opera and Ballet (Mariinsky),Leningrad, USSR

The ballet, which has maintained the romantic dancing style for many years and became one of biggest theatrical legends of the 19th century. The illusiveness and unattainability of one’s dreams are revealed through the story of James, a young Scotsman. He has promised his heart to a girl from the local village but then comes across an enchanting spirit of the air, the sylph. Having forsaken everything on earth, the young man attempts to get close to this spectral beauty.

Libretto by Adolphe Nourrit


Act I

On the eve of his wedding, James, a young Scotsman, sees a vision of an enchanting, winged sylph. She is an ethereal spirit of the air who has fallen in love with him. James is captivated by the beautiful sylph but, as he tries to touch her, she disappears into thin air. A party of guests and friends arrive with Effie, Jamesґ bride-to-be. James is distracted, still haunted by the memory of the sylph.
Lost in thought, he gazes at the spot where she vanished. In his mind he can still see her and reaches out as though she is still there. It is, however, Old Madge, the village sorceress, whose hideous figure steps out of the shadows instead of the beautiful sylph. Her revolting appearance and ravaged face cast a shadow over the celebrations. Jamesґ initial fear turns to anger and Effie tries to calm him. Old Madge starts to tell Effieґs fortune. She predicts that Effie will marry not James, but his friend Gurn, a Scottish peasant, who is also in love with her. James loses his temper and sends Old Madge away. The party resumes and, in the general dancing and merrymaking, everyone soon forgets the unpleasant scene. At the height of the party, the sylph reappears. She beckons to James and they vanish together. Effie is heartbroken.

Act II 

Outside a cave in the forest, Old Madge is busy casting evil spells. She traces a magic circle on the ground and places a cauldron in it, which begins to boil. Old Madge begins conjuring things up from the huge cauldron. Other witches hurry to join her and together they conjure up a magic scarf, which is incredibly beautiful but deadly poisonous. The witches depart.
James and the sylph arrive, very much in love. She shows James her magic kingdom and then flies away. James is left all alone and Old Madge reappears. She asks if he needs any help, and produces the magic scarf. She explains that if he puts the scarf around the sylphґs shoulders, she will never be able to fly again and will be his forever on earth. James seizes the scarf and goes in search of the sylph. However, when he finds her and places the scarf on her shoulders, he is horrified to see that it causes her great pain. In front of his stricken gaze, her wings fall to the ground and then in agony she sinks lifeless at his feet. Mourning sylphs appear and carry their dead friend away, over the treetops and out of sight. The sound of bagpipes and the joyful ringing of bells break the silence in the forest. A bridal procession is glimpsed through the trees: it is a triumphant Gurn leading Effie to the church.

Schedule for Herman von Lovenskjold "La Sylphide" (ballet in two acts) 2022

Extract from the ballet "La Sylphide"
About This Video
Extract from the ballet "La Sylphide"
Elena Evseeva and Leonid Sarafanov

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