English National Ballet: Le Corsaire review – Cesar Corrales ignites the fun

Coliseum, London
The junior soloist dances like an international star in this luminous, outrageous, orientalist romp

In Le Corsaire, ballet often veers closer to music hall than art. Its pirates-and-slave-girls plot is hokum; its patchwork score is serviceable at best, and Petipa’s choreography rarely reaches the heights of his Swan Lake or Bayadère. Aside from historical interest, the main point of staging the ballet today is to indulge in its romp of outrageously orientalist costume and swaggering dance-action.

ENB’s production of Corsaire nails the costume part beautifully, with designer Bob Ringwood creating a wardrobe of luminous colour and pattern. The dancers themselves have taken longer to settle, with early performances looking somewhat reticent. But they’ve now made the ballet their own, and on the opening night of this season’s revival, the spark that ignited the fun was Cesar Corrales’ astonishing performance of Ali, the slave.

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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