Loves the Arts: PA Ballet's Le Corsaire

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They say 'X' marks the spot, but the Pennsylvania Ballet is looking for more than just treasure with the staging of Le Corsaire. (WPVI)

They say 'X' marks the spot, but the Pennsylvania Ballet is looking for more than just treasure with the staging of Le Corsaire, the story of a daring pirate and his journey of love, betrayal, and adventure.

It was first performed more than 150 years ago, but the Pennsylvania Ballet has re-choreographed the three act dance that is loosely based on the poem, The Corsair by Lord Byron.

"Ballet fans, they know it as one of the greatest ballets," says Pennsylvania Ballet Artistic Director, Angel Corella, "Every time that Le Corsaire has been performed, it has been a huge success."

The story is set in mid-19th century Turkey and stars Conrad, a pirate who's fallen madly in love with a slave girl named Medora.

"It's a story about love and conquering love and relationships between human beings," says Corella.

After Conrad rescues Medora from slavery, the audience follows their journey to escape and live happily ever after.

"It's a beautiful production and the great thing is that you feel like you're introduced to that place," says Corella, "It's almost like a movie."

The action-packed performance will feature up to 9 principal dancers in several fight scenes using real swords.

"Usually in all the other productions, there's only the two main characters that they actually fight with like little knives," explains Corella, "But I wanted to include something that would be more dramatic."

Corella won an Emmy award for his 1998 performance of the piece and says his recreation of the original choreography results in high level, high energy dancing that he promises will keep the audience on the edge of their seats, "it's going to be much quicker and a lot more intense than many other productions."

The ballet will also feature original music selections from more than 8 composers.

"It's almost like the music is guiding you throughout," says Corella, "It's a beautiful story and it's a lot of fun. It's great for the parents. It's great for the family. It's great for the kids."

The Pennsylvania Ballet performs Le Corsaire March 9-19.

For tickets and show times go to

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