A special series of classical ballets presented in high definition continues this week at Sutton Cinemas. The Paris Opera Ballet presents two stunning works of choreography: the first by American-born choreographer John Neumeier and the second a classic work of romantic ballet.
“The Third Symphony” by Gustav Mahler was choreographed by John Neumeier and premiered at the Hamburg Ballet in 1975. The entire edifice of Neumeier’s work is built around a profound musical sensibility. However, the choreographer, in his constant questioning of the human condition, probably finds the closest reflection of his own humanist concerns in the works of Gustav Mahler, several of whose symphonies he has set to dance.
On the wings of the emotions inspired by the monumental “Third Symphony,” written as “a great hymn to the glory of all creation,” the choreographer enters the composer’s tormented and contrasting universe to sculpt images of a powerful and profound lyricism. The piece is an osmosis between music and dance, shot through with a palette of emotions, from existential angst to mystical faith. Chorus and soloists accompany the dancers’ elegant movements, curved lines and vertiginous lifts, reminding us why New York Post dance critic Clive Barnes called Mahler’s 3rd Symphony “an incredible achievement, one of those masterpieces that permits a man’s entire career to be reevaluated … Neumeier is one of the major classic choreographers of our century.” Mahler’s “Third Symphony” plays at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday and at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“La Sylphide,” created in 1832 at the Paris Opera by Philippe Taglioni, heralded the advent of the romantic ballet. The delicate and ethereal dancer Marie Taglioni played the unattainable, dream-conjured sylph, alongside Joseph Mazilier. In the point 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 Sylphide, 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.
This emblematic ballet was lost to the repertoire for over a century. It is now being presented at the Paris Opera in a faithful recreation by Pierre Lacotte, whose immense choreographic culture has enabled him to unravel and recast the spells of the grand French romantic style. “La Sylphide” plays at 7:15 p.m. June 4 and again at 3:30 p.m. June 5.
Tickets for Ballet in HD are $9 adults and $7 seniors and children. Advanced tickets are available at Sutton Cinemas box office or at http://sierratheaters.com.
For information about either show, visit http://sierratheaters.com.