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A truly monumental work, Ratmansky abstracts Édouard Lalo's comical 19th-century story ballet into a stylized series of witty and animated dances for seven featured performers and a large ensemble.
Mystery, wit, drama, and romance share star turns in Alexei Ratmansky’s original and aptly named “grand divertissement.” With Édouard Lalo’s lively score from a 19th Century French ballet about an enslaved girl named Namouna as inspiration, Ratmansky has used what he calls “the clichés of classical ballets” in a new, endlessly inventive, and light-hearted way.
A large corps, intriguing dance patterns, and virtuoso soloists fill out the playful plot involving a young man searching for his love. Using the props detailed in Lucien Petipa’s original 1882 production, alluring women dance for the young man as cymbals clang and a seductress tempts through a fog of cigarette smoke. Many distractions and whimsically-wigged look-alikes confound, confuse, and stand in the way before boy finally finds girl for a joyful, athletic, and romantic climactic pas de deux.
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