Music by Frederic Chopin
Choreography by Mikhail Fokin
Les Sylphides is a ballet created by the choreographer Mikhail Fokin for Anna Pavlova, a dancer with unique lyrical talent. It was first presented on the stage of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg in 1908, and soon Sergei Diaghilev selected it for his Ballets Russes project. In 1909, it was shown in Paris, in Théâtre du Châtelet; after that, throughout the 20th century, it found its way into the repertoire of the ballet companies all over the world.
Les Sylphides, a fantasy ballet evoking the romantic ballets of the early 19th century, takes the audience away into the world of dreams, reveries and fantasies. The story features a young enchanted poet, who meets incorporeal sylphides in a shady park, and their dance makes him forget the worries and the troubles of the real world.
Fokine himself said of this ballet that “I have tried not to surprise people with the newness, but rather to restore conditional ballet dancing to the point of its greatest advances. I don’t know if this is how our antecedents danced. And no-one else knows that. But in my dreams this is precisely how they did dance.