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English National Ballet – Principal Casting Announced For Le Corsaire

Press Release: 31 July 2013

Principal Casting Announced For Le Corsaire

Principal casting is today announced for English National Ballet’s new production of Le Corsaire (The Pirate) which premieres in Milton Keynes on 17 October 2013.  The production will then tour to Southampton, Oxford, Bristol, London and Manchester. Full details as follows:


English National Ballet’s Artistic Director Tamara Rojo said: “Le Corsaire is one of the great classics created by Marius Petipa for the Mariinsky Theatre. Like all great Russian classics it is a true epic story that offers drama, an exotic landscape and the best pyrotechnics of the classic technique. It’s a men’s ballet, with heroic and passionate characters and with the famous pas de deux that made a legend of Nureyev when he first performed in England with Dame Margot Fonteyn. This is a unique and unmissable opportunity as it has never before been performed by a British company.”

“We are working with Anna-Marie Holmes who created this version more than a decade ago and she is willing to change it to make it specific for us. In reinventing Le Corsaire we have the chance to go through the whole narrative and look at it with fresh eyes, making it even better and personal to the Company.

“I am excited that this is a ballet with four male principal roles.  Unlike many of the classics it will give great opportunities to the men in the Company to show off their skills and athleticism.

“We are also re-orchestrating the work because there have been many additions over the years.  I want the music to sound more romantic and cleaner as it would have originally.

“And I am thrilled that Bob Ringwood, the amazing designer of Batman, has agreed to design the sets and the costumes.”

Bob Ringwood, whose film credits include Batman. Alien 3, Star Trek Nemesis and Troy, explains his ambitions for the piece:
‘’Designing Le Corsaire, I thought it would be interesting to bring out the romantic and historic elements of the original ballet.  I hope to capture the flavour of the Romantic period in which it was first staged. The sets and costumes are based on original paintings, prints and engravings of the mid-19th Century to capture and infuse the essence of the period. I felt it was important to bring out the romantic, sensual and erotic elements of the piece, which have been so neglected in recent productions. The sensuality of the women and bravado and swagger of  the men, for us all to enjoy those heavily scented and perfumed Arabian Nights that so captivated Orientalist painters and writers of the second half of the 19th Century.”

Le Corsaire is based on Lord Byron’s poem Corsaire and tells the story of Conrad, a dashing pirate, and his love for Medora, the beautiful harem girl. It is a swashbuckling drama of captive maidens, rich sultans, kidnap and rescue, disguise and conspiracy, love and betrayal, culminating in a shipwreck which is one of the most breath-taking spectacles in ballet.

Generously supported by Swarovski and Le Corsaire Appeal Donors.

Autumn tour and Christmas at the Coliseum

Le Corsaire
17 October – 30 November 2013, and 11 February – 15 February (*on tour see details below)

London Coliseum
9 January – 19 January 2014

Creative Credits
Staged by Anna-Marie Holmes after Marius Petipa and Konstantin Sergeyev
Music by Adolphe Adam, Cesare Pugni, Leo Delibes, Ricardo Drigo and Prince Oldenbourg

Libretto by Jules-Henri de Saint-Georges and Joseph Mazilier in a version by Anna-Marie Holmes

Based on The Corsair (1814) by Lord Byron

Sets and Costumes by Bob Ringwood
Lighting by Neil Austin

“Romance, betrayal, murder – even a shipwreck…” New York Sun

Alfa Banking Group Alfa Bank is sponsoring English National Ballet’s production of Le Corsaire in its London season.  Petr Aven, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Alfa Banking Group, said: “I am delighted that we are partnering with one of Britain’s greatest dance companies. Alfa Bank strongly supports building ties between the UK and Russia, be they in the business, economic or cultural spheres. Alongside bringing inspiring Russian work, like Le Corsaire, to British audiences, I hope this sponsorship will also shine a light on English National Ballet’s young Russian dancers.”

English National Ballet is launching a Production Appeal to help fund the new production of Le Corsaire.  A new production is a huge financial and creative undertaking, costing hundreds of thousands of pounds and involving armies of makers, technicians and artists. For more information and to donate go to or call the Development Department on 020 7581 1245.


For further information about English National Ballet 2013/14 Performance Schedule visit You can find English National Ballet on Facebook and Twitter @ENBallet #ENBLeCorsaire


Notes to Editors

You can book all tickets at Please note performance details are subject to change

Alfa Banking Group
Alfa Banking Group, the largest private commercial and investment banking group in Russia and the CIS, has entered a strategic partnership with leading classical dance company, English National Ballet. The sponsorship with English National Ballet extends Alfa Bank’s existing work of building cultural ties between Russia and the UK, as well as other nations. The bank has previously sponsored concerts and art exhibitions in the UK, the USA and elsewhere. Alongside sponsoring A Tribute to Rudolf Nureyev and Le Corsaire, Alfa Bank will work with English National Ballet to foster creative exchanges between Russia and the UK in the classical dance space, and highlight and promote English National Ballet dancers from Russia and the CIS.

Le Corsaire  – 0844 871 7652

Milton Keynes Theatre
17-19 October 7:30pm
17 October 2pm
19 October 2:30pm – 023 8071 1811

Southampton Mayflower
22-26 October 7:30pm
24 October 2pm
26 October 2:30pm – 0844 871 3020

New Theatre, Oxford
30 October- 2 November 7:30pm
31 October 2pm
2 November 2:30pm – 0844 871 3012

Bristol Hippodrome
26-30 November 7:30
28 November 2pm
30 November 2:30pm – 020 7845 9300

London Coliseum
9, 11, 14-18 January 7:30pm
11-12, 16, 18-19 January 2:30pm – 0844 871 3019

Palace Theatre Manchester
11-15 February 7:30pm
13 February 2pm
15 February 2:30pm

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