Choreography: Auguste Bournonville
Music: Herman Lovenskjold
Filippo Taglioni choreographed the first La Sylphide to the musical score of Jean Schneitzhoeffer and the libretto of Adolphe Hourrit. The first production, 1832 in Paris, featured Marie Taglioni in the leading role. In the 19th century, tales of fantasy and Romantic folk legends replaced the Classical themes of mythological heroes. The ballet blanc (ballet in which women wear long white costumes) became famous with the creation of La Sylphide. A new technique was created when Taglioni made history by dancing on the tips of her toes.
In La Sylphide Pas de Deux, from a story set in Scotland, James strives to grasp the world that only he perceives. The sylph represents his romantic ideal, the unattainable quest for a dream of poetic perfection.
August Bournonville staged his own version for the Royal Danish Ballet with music by Lovenskjold in Copenhagen in 1836. Bournonville along with Lucile Grahn danced the leading roles.
Kansas City Ballet Premiere: April 25, 1996, Kansas City, Missouri