23 June 2017 | 10 °C

A Five Star Swashbuckling Adventure From English National Ballet

Le Corsaire, London Coliseum ★★★★★

By Laura Dodge Last edited 17 months ago
A Five Star Swashbuckling Adventure From English National Ballet Le Corsaire, London Coliseum 5
Yonah Acosta in English National Ballet's Le Corsaire. Photography by ASH

Since Tamara Rojo became the company's artistic director in 2012, English National Ballet (ENB) has gone from strength to strength. Its latest offering, pirate ballet Le Corsaire at the London Coliseum, is a testament to this — with excellent designs, beautiful music, and, most importantly, superb dancing.

Le Corsaire has a rather bizarre story, following the courageous Conrad (Osiel Gouneo) as he journeys across high seas to save harem girl Medora (Rojo). There are pirate caves, sword fights and dancing slaves. Sets and costumes are colourful and sparkling, the ENB Philharmonic orchestra perfectly conveys the score's beauty and drama, and dancers perform remarkable firework-like tricks right from the start.

It's hard to believe that the company has just performed a month of exhausting Nutcrackers. It looks superbly strong and confident, with even audience member Wayne Sleep exclaiming "wow" at one point. All leading cast members (including Laurretta Summerscales, Brooklyn Mack, Cesar Corrales, Yonah Acosta, Shiori Kase and Ksenia Ovsyanick) are exquisite — jumping miles off the ground, pirouetting more times than seems physically possible and suddenly holding long balances with the utmost control. They're supported by a vibrant corps de ballet who pay attention to every narrative detail, making this swashbuckling adventure feel thoroughly believable and engaging.

Le Corsaire is a perfect sunny antidote to London's grey and rainy January and both Rojo and ENB deserve high praise.

Le Corsaire is at the London Coliseum (St Martin’s Lane WC2N 4ES) until 24 January. Tickets start from £14 and are available from the ENO box office. Londonist received a complimentary ticket to review the performance.

Last Updated 14 January 2016