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Les Sylphides

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Programme 1910, with Nijinsky and Karsavina

Les Sylphides is a ballet choreographed by Michel Fokine to the piano music of Chopin as orchestrated by Alexander Glazunov.

The ballet has no narrative story, but is a series of pictures depicting white-skirted sylphs dancing in the moonlight with a young poet in a black tunic and white tights.

The ballet was first performed by Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes on 2 June 1909 at Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris. The soloists were Tamara Karsavina, Vaslav Nijinsky (as the poet, or young man), Anna Pavlova, and Alexandra Baldina.

The standard version of Les Sylphides includes:

  1. Polonaise in A major ('Military'), Op. 40, No. 1 (some companies substitute the Prelude in A major, Op. 28, No. 7 instead)
  2. Nocturne in A-flat major, Op. 32, No. 2
  3. Waltz in G-flat major, Op. 70, No. 1
  4. Mazurka in D major, Op. 33, No. 2
  5. Mazurka in C major, Op. 67, No. 3
  6. Prelude in A major, Op. 28, No. 7
  7. Waltz in C-sharp minor, Op. 64, No. 2
  8. Grande valse brillante in E-flat major, Op. 18.


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