By Amy Brandt
Originally published in Pointe Magazine
The three Odalisques of Le Corsaire are nameless, their back-stories unknown. Yet their pas de trois contains some of the ballet’s best known variations.
Lankendem, a slave trader, shows off his selection of Odalisques (lower-level female slaves who serve as assistants to concubines and wives) to the powerful pasha, hoping that he will buy some for his harem. As he presents the Odalisques, each one performs a variation in an attempt to impress the Pasha.