Foreword from Chief Executive Officer,
Fraser Brown, MBA
Welcome Cork and Wexford audiences and those who have travelled from further afield! On behalf of Monica Loughman, our dancers and all of the amazing technical team at Monica Loughman Ballet we want to thank the staff at your beautiful Opera House for their fantastic support. I am so proud that our indigenous ballet company - “Ireland’s Ballet Company” - has grown to become a source of inspiration and aspiration to for so many people. A lovely example is contained in this email that I received from a young dancer describing her dream of a future as a professional dancer:
“I would love to dance with Monica Loughman Ballet. I started ballet at the age of 3 and ever since then I’ve had a passion for ballet. I have followed Monica Loughman’s story and admire what she has achieved and would love to be part of that. I have it in me ... I have the desire to perform as a professional. I want to be better and I want to be stronger. I would love to be up on the stage performing with the best ballet dancers in Ireland and experiencing what is like to be part of a real ballet company.” Monica Loughman Ballet’s audience has grown from 1000 to 20000 in two years. It’s new International Dance Academy was formally opened by Minister for Arts, Jimmy Deenihan TD at the Convention Centre in January and has received funding from Fingal County Enterprise Board. This now offers a full-time year of training for 12/13 year olds (first year school),15/16 year olds (transition year school) and post leaving cert students towards a professional career in dance. Our primary source of funding for 2013 is the Arts Council, which is supporting touring activities for The Nutcracker in the strong context of our celebrations of a decade of support by Allianz. Major plans are also underway for a national tour of Swan Lake in 2014. If we receive broader support from the government agency for funding and developing the arts in Ireland, our pace of development will accelerate even more and we will be able to deliver two or more seasons of ballet each year in Dublin and across Ireland. We plan to employ six full-time professional dancers in 2014.
In the hall of a Scottish farmhouse, James Ruben, a young Scotsman, sleeps in a chair by the fireside. A sylph, or forest fairy, gazes lovingly upon him and dances about his chair. She kisses him and then vanishes when he suddenly wakes. James dismisses the incident and promises to forget it. James’ bride-to-be, Effie, arrives with her bridesmaids. James dutifully kisses her, but is startled by a shadow in the corner. Thinking his sylph has returned, he rushes over, only to find the witch, Madge, kneeling at the hearth to warm herself. James is furious with the disappointment. Effie and her friends beg Madge to tell their fortunes, and the witch complies. Madge harbors secret desires for James and she gleefully informs Effie that James loves someone else and she will instead be united with James best friend. James is furious. He tries to forces Madge from the hearth and put her out of the house but Effie breaks up the tussle and reassures James that everything will be ok. Effie and her bridesmaids hurry upstairs to prepare for the wedding, and James is left alone in the room. As he stares out the window, the sylph materializes before him and confesses her love. She weeps at his apparent indifference. James resists at first, but, captivated by her ethereal beauty, capitulates and kisses her tenderly. As the bridal procession forms, James stands apart and gazes upon the ring he is to place on Effie’s finger. The Sylph snatches the ring, places it on her own finger, and, smiling enticingly, rushes into the forest. James hurries after her in ardent pursuit. Unwittingly, the guests continue with their revelry. When Effie finds out that James has vanished she is heartbroken and seeks consolation from her bridesmades and James’ best friend.
Act II Foreword from CEO Allianz,
Brendan Murphy On behalf of all my colleagues in Allianz it is my great pleasure to welcome you to La Sylphide performed by Monica Loughman Ballet and their distinguished guest stars. As a member of the Allianz Group and one of Ireland’s leading insurers, we are delighted to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of our successful collaboration with Monica Loughman this year. Few Irish people have achieved international success in ballet like Monica and in addition to her own breath-taking performances, this year she established a full-time professional ballet academy in Ireland. Allianz is proud to support the good work that Monica does in bringing the delights of ballet to young Irish people in communities across the country – already culminating in memorable performances of Giselle, La Syphide, Vivaldi Seasons and The Nutcracker. We look forward to continuing our support in the future and join you in eager anticipation of Swan Lake and Children of Lir in the coming years. I conclude by wishing all of our National dancers, special guest stars from Lithuania, Monica and all her team every continued success with their performances. I hope that you enjoy this evening’s performance of Monica Loughman’s La Sylphide!
Madge hatches a dastardly plan to kill sylph and take James as her own. She conjures up a magical scarf. James enters with the sylph who shows him her woodland realm. She brings him berries and water for refreshment but avoids his embrace. To cheer him, she summons her ethereal sisters who shyly enter and perform their airy dances. The young Scotsman is delighted and joins the divertissement before all flee for another part of the forest. James enters the glade where he is met by Madge. She explains how the magic scarf will bind the sylph to him so she cannot fly away. She instructs him to wind the scarf about the sylph’s shoulders. James is ecstatic. When the sylph returns and sees the scarf, she allows James to place the beautiful gift around her shoulders. As James embraces the sylph passionately, her wings fall off, she shudders, and dies in James’ arms. Sorrowfully, her sisters enter and lift her lifeless form. Suddenly, a joyful wedding procession led by Effie and James best friend crosses the glade. James weak with dispair falls under Madge’s spell.
Allianz. Supporting Communities through Ballet.
Olga Konosenko as Sylph
Igoris Zaripovas as James
Currently Ballet Soloist of Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, Olga was a student of the Perm Ballet Academy with Monica Loughman. An award winning ballerina, Olga received recognition for musicality in the Perm International Ballet Competition in 2002, and the “Golden Cross of the Stage” from Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet in 2008.
Igoris performs with Lithuanian National Opera Ballet. He is a recipient of many awards including the R. Nureyev’s Foundation in 2004 the Prize of Jurgis Žalkauskas, president of the Australian Association of Ballet, in 2006 - a Prize of Konstantinas Stašys. He has also performed contemporary dance by Dovile Petkunaite, Erika Vizbaraite and Loreta Juodkaite.
Character Soloist Monica Loughman (Madge the Witch) Soloists Áine McNamara (Effie-Wexford & Cork matinee), Olga Gargan (Effie-Cork evening), Ciaran Behan (James’ Friend), Sarah Whelan, Rebecca Flynn, Katie Cahalin, Chloe Matthews, Leanne Sexton, Liane Whelan, Michael Flynn, Laura Jenkins Corps de Ballet Roisin McGannon, Jennifer Keenahan, Kate Wickham, Emma Collins, Orlaith McDonagh, Lena Levins, Sophie O’Brien, Emma Hayward, Laura Hayward, Aine Hanlon, Fiona Cunniffe, Cara Gregg, Emma Garrett, Lucy Kenneally. Male Corps de Ballet Turlough O’Neill, Donking Rongavilla, Ricki McTiernan, Oisin O’Driscoll, Kirk Levins. Understudies Áine Childs, Jocinda Coffey, Valerie Logan, Aoife McGeough, Caroline Irwin Junior Corps de Ballet Laura Kavanagh, Zahara Ellis Dempsey, Nina Malone, Megan Mullin, Abbie O’Leary, Aoife Daly, Jane Redmond, Isobel Feeney, Aisling Hughes, Laura Rose, Cashin Hardiman Behind the graceful and seemingly effortless movements of a ballerina lie endlesss hours of hard work and commitment. As proud supporters of Monica Loughman, Ireland’s premier ballerina, Allianz takes inspiration from her dedication to her art as we ourselves strive to be the very best at what we do.
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With you from A-Z
Choreography Monica Loughman joins modern interpreters of the 1836 version of La Sylphide by August Bournonville with music by Herman Severin Løvenskiold. The Creative Team Artistic Director: Monica Loughman; Lighting Manager, Brian Murray; Costume Design, Monica Ennis and Marina Zubtsvoa; Scenic Artist, Lisa Zagone; Production Assistants, Aine McNamara and Sarah Whelan. The Production Team Stage Manager, Tony Ryan; Stage Assistant, Tim Ryan; Costume Technicians, Lila Flynn, Lorraine Whelan and Nessa McNamara; Set Construction, Richard Bradley; Support Team Physiotherapist, Keith Dempsey; Resident Photographer, Keith Dickson; Cover photo by Robert Redmond. CEO: Fraser Brown, MBA ADVISORY BOARD: Mark Skipper CEO of Northern Ballet