If Captain Jack Sparrow added pointe shoes to his flamboyant garb, he'd fit right in with American Ballet Theater's Le Corsaire. Filled with good pirates, evil pirates, avaricious slave traders, acquisitive pashas and beautiful slave girls in tutus and pointe shoes, this 19th century full-length ballet contains some of Marius Petipa's most gorgeous choreography. Rudolf Nureyev introduced himself and Le Corsaire to the West as the high flying, bare-chested slave partnering Margo Fonteyn in what is now ensconced as part of the pas de deux repertoire, but in its original form in the ballet is a pas de trois between the beautiful Melora and the pirate Conrad with the slave in service when Melora needs serious lifting. The change to a pas de deux, like the ballet's plot, is not receptive to deep thinking. ABT's more serious, thoughtful side was on view at Thursday’s opening, a mixed bill boasting George Balanchine's Apollo and Symphony in C plus Chamber Symphony from ABT's current resident choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. In contrast, Le Corsaire is best approached as a terpsichorean roller coaster ride as ABT turns its dancers loose in this swashbuckling extravaganza at the Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Thurs.-Sat., July 11-13, 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., July 13-14, 2 p.m., $34-$125. 213-972-0777, www.musiccenter.org.

July 11-14, 7:30 p.m.; July 13-14, 2 p.m., 2013

LA Weekly