The Meridian Season of

Royal New Zealand Ballet’s La Sylphide

6 August 2009–9 September 2009

ITR Auditorium


In a tribute to the founding father of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Poul Gnatt, the company will present this outstanding work by the great Danish choreographer August Bournonville.

La Sylphide is one of the great romantic ballets from the Danish school. Featuring witches, fairy-like sylphs and stunningly beautiful sets, this classical masterpiece is a breathtaking ballet. Choreographed in 1836 to music by Lovenskjold, it tells the story of a young Scottish farmer James, who on the eve of his wedding is visited by a beautiful ethereal sylph. The sylph lures James to the woods and away from his betrothed, Effie. In revenge for having been ejected from James' home, the evil witch Madge gives him a magical scarf with which to capture the sylph. Unbeknownst to James, the scarf is poisoned and the sylph dies in James' arms, leaving him alone with the vengeful Madge. With grand-scales sets from The Australian Ballet, La Sylphide promises to be a mesmerising production and a highlight of 2009.

Choreography: August Bournonville
Staging: Matz Skoog
Design: Anne Fraser
Music: Herman Lovenskjold
Lighting: Jon Buswell