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10 December 2020 (Thu), 19:30 World famous Mariinsky Ballet and Opera - established 1783 - Classical Ballet Leo Delibes "Sylvia" ballet in three acts. Choreography by Frederick Ashton

Running time: 3 hours (till 22:30)

The performance has 2 intermissions

Schedule for Leo Delibes "Sylvia" ballet in three acts. Choreography by Frederick Ashton 2020

Dancer: Xander Parish
Dancer: Anastasia Nuikina

Composer: Leo Delibes
Composer: Leo Delibes
Choreography: Frederick Ashton
Lighting Designer: Mark Jonathan

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

Classical Ballet in 3 acts

Premiere of this production: 3 April 2014 , Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, Russia

Frederick Ashton’s delightful full-length classical ballet is a charming feast for the senses, set to Delibes’ marvellous score - charm and elegance, riches in melody, rhythm, harmony.
Enjoy one of the most beautiful Pas de deux in the 3rd act - it’s creamy seamless romantic movements leave us wanting more. 

Sylvia has an important role in the history of dance: it was the first ballet to be created at the Palais Garnier and the first to break with Romantic ballet conventions; if not choreographically, at least in the idea of a strong female character, a masculine huntress in contrast to the ethereal image of the fairy or Sylph. Sylvia represents an important change in the image of women in ballet.

Sylvia, originally Sylvia, ou La nymphe de Diane, is a full-length ballet in two or three acts, first choreographed by Louis Merante to music by Leo Delibes in 1876. Sylvia is a typical classical ballet in many respects, yet it has many interesting features which make it unique. Sylvia is notable for its mythological Arcadian setting, creative choreographies, expansive sets and, above all, its remarkable score.

The ballet's origins are in Tasso's 1573 poem Aminta, which provides the basic plot of Delibes' work. Jules Barbier and Baron de Reinach adapted this for the Paris Opera. The piano arrangement was composed in 1876 and the orchestral suite was done in 1880. 

When Sylvia premiиred on Wednesday, June 14, 1876, at the Palais Garnier, it went largely unnoticed. In fact, the first seven productions of Sylvia were not commercially successful. It was the 1952 revival, choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton, that popularized the ballet. Ashton's success set the stage for the 1997, 2004, 2005 and 2009 productions, all of which were based on his 1952 choreography.


Act I
A sacred wood
Woodland creatures dance in the moonlight before the shrine of Eros, the god of Love. They are interrupted by the arrival of the shepherd Aminta, who is in love with Sylvia. Hearing Sylvia and her attendants approaching, Aminta hides and watches them dance as they celebrate the success of their hunt. Sylvia, who as one of Diana’s nymphs has promised to renounce love, taunts the statue of Eros. Meanwhile Orion, the evil hunter, has also been secretly watching Sylvia and, inflamed by her beauty, is determined to possess her. 
Aminta’s cloak is discovered and the shepherd is dragged from his hiding place. He declares his love for Sylvia, but she is outraged and, blaming the mischievous Eros, draws her bow at the god. Aminta, shielding the statue, is pierced to the heart by Sylvia’s arrow. Eros retaliates by shooting Sylvia. Shaken, she removes the arrow from her heart and leaves with her companions. 
Peasants, on their way to the fields, dance in honour of Eros. As they leave, Orion enters and gloats over the body of Aminta. He is interrupted by the return of Sylvia who, having been pierced to the heart by Eros’ arrow, now mourns the dead Aminta. Emerging from his hiding place, Orion captures Sylvia and carries her off to his island cave. 
A peasant, having witnessed Sylvia’s abduction, calls his friends back and they too weep over Aminta’s body. A strange cloaked figure appears among them, and they ask for his help. He picks a flower from a nearby bush and, pressing the petals to Aminta’s lips, brings him back to life. Aminta thanks the stranger who then tells him of Sylvia’s abduction. As the peasants find her bow the stranger reveals himself as Eros and sends Aminta in search of Sylvia.

Act II
Orion’s island cave
Orion tries in vain to gain Sylvia’s affections by tempting her with jewels and fine clothes. She is reminded of her love for Aminta by Eros’ arrow, but as she attempts to escape, Orion takes it from her. He offers her wine. In order to evade his advances, she encourages him to drink and dances for him until he falls senseless. She retrieves the arrow and prays to Eros for help. The god appears, shows Sylvia a vision of Aminta waiting for her by Diana’s temple, then takes her to be reunited with him.

The sea coast near the temple of Diana
A festival in honour of the god Bacchus is interrupted by the arrival of Aminta in search of Sylvia. He hopes to find her in Diana’s temple but is met by closed doors. He sees a boat approaching with Eros, Sylvia and her attendants on board, and Eros reunites the lovers. 
The general rejoicing is interrupted by Orion, determined to recapture Sylvia. She takes refuge in the temple and, after a fight with Aminta, Orion tries to break in. Enraged by the intrusion, Diana appears and kills him. Her anger is now directed at the lovers and she forbids their union. Eros reminds Diana that she herself was once infatuated with a simple shepherd, Endymion. She relents and gives the lovers her blessing.

Schedule for Leo Delibes "Sylvia" ballet in three acts. Choreography by Frederick Ashton 2020

Mariinsky Ballet - Viktoria Tereshkina
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