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Avast, Mateys!

A ballet about dancing pirates docks at Playhouse Square.


Avast, Mateys! A ballet about dancing pirates docks at Playhouse Square. There are very few Captain Jack-style shenanigans in the American Ballet Theatre's production of Le Corsaire (The Pirate). But the onstage spectacle — featuring a boat, marketplace, and cave on the lavish set — is still one of the dance world's biggest and most explosive presentations. "It's nonstop," says Moscow-born dancer Gennadi Saveliev. "The story isn't complicated. It's a straightforward love story. It's like a cartoon, even a little over the top."

Le Corsaire tells the tale of the lead character's infatuation with a harem girl. As he tracks her from a bazaar to a palace, he encounters a shipwreck and some swordplay along the way. But don't expect the fight scenes to get too fancy. "It's stage fighting," cautions Saveliev. The 32-year-old dancer, who now lives in the U.S. and has been a member of American Ballet Theatre for 10 years, plays two roles: a slave and the villanous market owner. "Sometimes it's fun to play the bad guy," he says.
March 17-18, 8 p.m.; Sun., March 19, 2 p.m.

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