La Sylphide by Paris Opera Ballet

La Sylphide by Paris Opera Ballet

Created in 1832 at the Paris Opera, Philippe Taglioni’s La Sylphide heralded the advent of the Romantic period of ballet.

The delicate and ethereal dancer Marie Taglioni played the unattainable, dream-conjured sylph alongside Joseph Mazilier. In the pointe shoes and long diaphanous tutus she wore in La Sylphide, the ballerina became an emblematic figure. The libretto by Adolphe Nourrit was inspired by romantic tales recounting the impossible love between a human and a supernatural creature. The tormented young James finds himself torn between the promise of a comfortable life held out by his impending marriage to Effie and the freedom embodied by the Sylph, that inaccessible ideal who comes to him in his dreams.

The work was a critical triumph from the outset, praised in particular by Théophile Gautier, who would later write the libretto for Giselle. It also inspired another version by Danish balletmaster August Bournonville, whose revival piece—choreographed to a different score—remains the most familiar version of La Sylphide.

Although Taglioni’s emblematic ballet has long been lost from the repertoire, it is now being presented at the Paris Opera in a faithful reconstruction by Pierre Lacotte, whose immense choreographic culture has enabled him to unravel and recast the spells of the grand French romantic style.
This production is part of a series of Paris Opera Ballet screenings showcasing different ballet styles through the periods.

18 Apr, 3pm

Photo credit icare