Paquita
Overview
 
Paquita is a ballet
Ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

 in two acts and three scenes, with libretto by Joseph Mazilier
Joseph Mazilier
Joseph Mazilier was a 19th-century French dancer, balletmaster and choreographer. He was most noted for his ballets Paquita and Le Corsaire...

 and Paul Foucher
Paul Foucher
Paul-Henri Foucher was a French playwright, theatre and music critic, political journalist, and novelist.-Early career:...

. Originally choreographed by Joseph Mazilier
Joseph Mazilier
Joseph Mazilier was a 19th-century French dancer, balletmaster and choreographer. He was most noted for his ballets Paquita and Le Corsaire...

 to the music of Edouard Deldevez
Edouard Deldevez
Édouard Deldevez was a French violinist, conductor, composer, and music teacher. He is also known as Ernest or Ernst Deldevez. The names Edmé or Émile are occasionally substituted for Edouard.-Biography:Édouard Deldevez was born and died in Paris, France. He won many prizes as a violinist...

. First presented by at the Salle Le Peletier by the Paris Opera Ballet
Paris Opera Ballet
The Paris Opera Ballet is the oldest national ballet company in the world, and many European and international ballet companies can trace their origins to it...

 on 1 April 1846. The work was retained in the repertory of the Opéra until 1851.

In 1847, Paquita was staged for the first time in Russia for the Imperial Ballet
Mariinsky Ballet
The Mariinsky Ballet is a classical ballet company based at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Founded in the 18th century and originally known as the Imperial Russian Ballet, the Mariinsky Ballet is one of the world's leading ballet companies...

 of St. Petersburg by Marius Petipa
Marius Petipa
Victor Marius Alphonse Petipa was a French ballet dancer, teacher and choreographer. Petipa is considered to be the most influential ballet master and choreographer of ballet that has ever lived....

 and Pierre-Frédéric Malevergne, being the first work ever staged by Petipa in Russia.
Encyclopedia
Paquita is a ballet
Ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

 in two acts and three scenes, with libretto by Joseph Mazilier
Joseph Mazilier
Joseph Mazilier was a 19th-century French dancer, balletmaster and choreographer. He was most noted for his ballets Paquita and Le Corsaire...

 and Paul Foucher
Paul Foucher
Paul-Henri Foucher was a French playwright, theatre and music critic, political journalist, and novelist.-Early career:...

. Originally choreographed by Joseph Mazilier
Joseph Mazilier
Joseph Mazilier was a 19th-century French dancer, balletmaster and choreographer. He was most noted for his ballets Paquita and Le Corsaire...

 to the music of Edouard Deldevez
Edouard Deldevez
Édouard Deldevez was a French violinist, conductor, composer, and music teacher. He is also known as Ernest or Ernst Deldevez. The names Edmé or Émile are occasionally substituted for Edouard.-Biography:Édouard Deldevez was born and died in Paris, France. He won many prizes as a violinist...

. First presented by at the Salle Le Peletier by the Paris Opera Ballet
Paris Opera Ballet
The Paris Opera Ballet is the oldest national ballet company in the world, and many European and international ballet companies can trace their origins to it...

 on 1 April 1846. The work was retained in the repertory of the Opéra until 1851.

In 1847, Paquita was staged for the first time in Russia for the Imperial Ballet
Mariinsky Ballet
The Mariinsky Ballet is a classical ballet company based at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Founded in the 18th century and originally known as the Imperial Russian Ballet, the Mariinsky Ballet is one of the world's leading ballet companies...

 of St. Petersburg by Marius Petipa
Marius Petipa
Victor Marius Alphonse Petipa was a French ballet dancer, teacher and choreographer. Petipa is considered to be the most influential ballet master and choreographer of ballet that has ever lived....

 and Pierre-Frédéric Malevergne, being the first work ever staged by Petipa in Russia. In 1881 Petipa produced a revival of the ballet for which he added new pieces specially composed by Ludwig Minkus
Ludwig Minkus
Ludwig Minkus a.k.a. Léon Fyodorovich Minkus was an Austrian composer of ballet music, a violin virtuoso and teacher.Minkus is most noted for the music he composed while serving as Ballet Composer of the St...

. This included the Pas de trois (a.k.a. the Minkus Pas de trois or Paquita Pas de trois) for the first act, and the Paquita Grand pas classique and the Mazurka des enfants (Children's mazurka) for the last act. Petipa's version of Paquita was retained in the repertory of the Mariinsky Theatre
Mariinsky Theatre
The Mariinsky Theatre is a historic theatre of opera and ballet in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Opened in 1860, it became the preeminent music theatre of late 19th century Russia, where many of the stage masterpieces of Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov received their premieres. The...

 until 1926.

Marius Petipa's 1881 additions for Paquita survived long after the full-length ballet left the stage. Today these pieces, particularly the Pas Grand pas classique, are major cornerstones of the traditional classical ballet repertory, and have been staged by ballet companies throughout the world.

In 2001, the Ballet Master
Ballet Master
Ballet Master is the term used for an employee of a ballet company who is responsible for the level of competence of the dancers in their company...

 Pierre Lacotte produced a revival of full-length, two act Paquita for the Paris Opera Ballet
Paris Opera Ballet
The Paris Opera Ballet is the oldest national ballet company in the world, and many European and international ballet companies can trace their origins to it...

. Although Lacotte re-choreographed most of the ballet himself, he restored Joseph Mazilier's original mime
Mime
The word mime is used to refer to a mime artist who uses a theatrical medium or performance art involving the acting out of a story through body motions without use of speech.Mime may also refer to:* Mime, an alternative word for lip sync...

 sequences and mise-en-scène, as well as Marius Petipa's 1881 additions.

Performance history

Other notable productions
  • Marius Petipa and Pierre-Frédéric Malevergne for the Imperial Ballet. Musical orchestrations by Konstantin Liadov. First presented at the Imperial Bolshoi Theatre on .
  • Marius Petipa for the Imperial Ballet, staged for the benefit performance of Ekaterina Vazem
    Ekaterina Vazem
    Ekaterina Vazem was a Russian prima ballerina. She was made famous for first dancing the role of Nikiya in 1877 Marius Petipa's ballet, La Bayadère...

    . Musical additions and revisions by Ludwig Minkus. First presented at the Imperial Bolshoi Theatre on .


Original Interpreters
Role Paris, 1846 St. Petersburg, 1847 St. Petersburg, 1881
Paquita Carlotta Grisi
Carlotta Grisi
Carlotta Grisi, real name Caronne Adele Josephine Marie Grisi was an Italian ballet dancer born in Visinada, Istria . She was trained at the ballet school of Teatro alla Scala in Milan and later with dancer/balletmaster Jules Perrot...

Yelena Andreyonova Ekaterina Vazem
Ekaterina Vazem
Ekaterina Vazem was a Russian prima ballerina. She was made famous for first dancing the role of Nikiya in 1877 Marius Petipa's ballet, La Bayadère...

Lucien d'Hervilly Lucien Petipa
Lucien Petipa
Lucien Petipa was a French ballet dancer in the early 19th century and was the brother of the famous balletmaster of the Russian Imperial Ballet , Marius Petipa...

Marius Petipa
Marius Petipa
Victor Marius Alphonse Petipa was a French ballet dancer, teacher and choreographer. Petipa is considered to be the most influential ballet master and choreographer of ballet that has ever lived....

Pavel Gerdt
Pavel Gerdt
Pavel Andreyevich Gerdt, also known as Paul Gerdt , was the Premier Danseur Noble of the Imperial Ballet, the Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre, and the Mariinsky Theatre for 56 years, making his debut in 1860, and retiring in 1916...


Plot Outline

The plot takes place in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 during the occupation of Napoleon's army. The heroine is the young Gypsy girl, Paquita. Unbeknownst to Paquita, she is really of noble birth, having been abducted by Gypsies when she was an infant. She saves the life of a young French officer, Lucien d'Hervilly, who is the target of a Spanish governor who desires to have him killed by Iñigo, a gypsy chief. By way of a medallion she discovers that she is of noble birth, being in fact the cousin of Lucien. As such, she and the Officer are able to wed.

History of the Paquita Grand pas classique

The Paquita Grand pas classique was revised in 1896 by Marius Petipa for a gala performance held at Peterhof
Peterhof Palace
The Peterhof Palace in Russian, so German is transliterated as "Петергoф" Petergof into Russian) for "Peter's Court") is actually a series of palaces and gardens located in Saint Petersburg, Russia, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great. These Palaces and gardens are sometimes referred as the...

 in honor of Empress Catherine II. For the occasion the Imperial Ballet's newly appointed Prima ballerina assoluta
Prima ballerina assoluta
Prima ballerina assoluta is a rank or title given to notable female ballet dancers. To be recognised as a prima ballerina assoluta is a very rare honour, reserved only for the most exceptional soloists, usually those who have achieved international acclaim....

Mathilde Kschessinskaya invited several ballerinas to participate in the performance by interpolating their favorite classical variations
Variation (ballet)
Variation or Classical Variation in ballet is a solo dance. As with an Aria in opera, which allows the singer to demonstrate his or her interpretive skills, the variation in ballet has the same function...

(or solos) from different works. Thus, the tradition of including an entire suite of solos for various ballerinas began, a tradition which is still in place today.

Anna Pavlova included the Grand Pas classique in her company's repertory.

Rudolf Nureyev
Rudolf Nureyev
Rudolf Khametovich Nureyev was a Russian dancer, considered one of the most celebrated ballet dancers of the 20th century. Nureyev's artistic skills explored expressive areas of the dance, providing a new role to the male ballet dancer who once served only as support to the women.In 1961 he...

 staged the piece in 1964 for the Royal Academy of Dancing, and at La Scala
La Scala
La Scala , is a world renowned opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the New Royal-Ducal Theatre at La Scala...

 in 1970. Nureyev also staged it for the Vienna State Opera Ballet
Vienna State Opera
The Vienna State Opera is an opera house – and opera company – with a history dating back to the mid-19th century. It is located in the centre of Vienna, Austria. It was originally called the Vienna Court Opera . In 1920, with the replacement of the Habsburg Monarchy by the First Austrian...

 and American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre , based in New York City, was one of the foremost ballet companies of the 20th century. It continues as a leading dance company in the world today...

 in 1971. For all of his productions of the work Nureyev used John Lanchbery
John Lanchbery
John Arthur Lanchbery OBE was an English, later Australian, composer and conductor, famous for his ballet arrangements.-Life:...

's adaptation of the music. In 1984 Natalia Makarova
Natalia Makarova
Nataliya Romanovna Makarova is the legendary Soviet-Russian-born prima ballerina. The History of Dance, published in 1981, notes that “Her performances set standards of artistry and aristocracy of dance which mark her as the finest ballerina of her generation.” She has also won awards as an...

 staged a new version of the Paquita Grand pas classique for American Ballet Theatre with music again arranged by Lanchbery. To date the company still retains Makarova's staging in their repertory, and many companies throughout the world have staged her version of the piece.

In 1974 the Ballet Master Nikita Dolgushin produced a staging of the Paquita Grand pas classique for the Maly Theatre Ballet of St. Petersburg. For his production Dolgushin called upon the former ballerina Elizaveta Gerdt
Elizaveta Gerdt
Elizaveta Pavlovna Gerdt was a Russian dancer and teacher whose career links the Russian imperial and Soviet schools of classical dance.A daughter of celebrated Paul Gerdt, she studied under Michel Fokine at the Imperial Ballet School, where her chief partner was Vaslav Nijinsky...

—who performed in Marius Petipa's original version of the piece— to assist in restoring the Paquita Grand pas classique to its form as performed during the early 20th century.

In 1978 the Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet's newly appointed artistic director Oleg Vinogradov staged a new version of the Paquita Grand pas classique for the company, a staging largely based on the version Pyotr Gusev
Pyotr Gusev
Pyotr Andreyevich Gusev was a ballet dancer, teacher and choreographer. He was born on 29. December, 1904 in St. Petersburg. He studied at the St. Petersburg School of Choreography under Alexandr Shiryayev. He was a friend of George Balanchine and joined his Young Ballet group. He graduated in...

 staged for the Maly Theatre Ballet in 1952. The Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet still retain Vinogradov's version in their repertory, and many companies throughout the world include his version of the piece in their repertories.

Solos of the Paquita Grand pas classique

The many different versions of the Paquita Grand pas classique are defined primarily by the various combinations of classical variations they contain. Here follows a list of the solos in place in the Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet's staging. The list below reveals who composed the piece, and in some cases what ballet they are taken from and/or for what dancer they were composed.
  • №1 Ludwig Minkus. Insertion for the ballerina Anna Johansson's performance Marius Petipa's 1892 revival of the Jules Perrot's 1843 La Naïade et le pêcheur.
  • №2 Riccardo Drigo
    Riccardo Drigo
    Riccardo Eugenio Drigo , a.k.a. Richard Drigo was an Italian composer of ballet music and Italian Opera, a theatrical conductor, and a pianist....

    . Insertion for the ballerina Anna Pavlova's performance in Marius Petipa's 1868 ballet Le Roi Candaule. Circa 1903.
  • №3 Alexei Papkov. Insertion for the ballerina Varvara Nikitina's performance in Paquita. Circa 1885.
  • №4 Nikolai Tcherepnin
    Nikolai Tcherepnin
    Nikolai Nikolayevich Tcherepnin was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. He was born in Saint Petersburg and studied under Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory...

    . Taken from Mikhail Fokine's 1907 ballet Le Pavillon d'Armide.
  • №5 Yuli Gerber. Taken from Marius Petipa's ballet Trilby
    Trilby (ballet)
    Trilby is a ballet in 2 acts and 3 scenes, with choreography by Marius Petipa and music by Yuli Gerber. Libretto by Marius Petipa, based on the 1822 novel Trilby, ou le lutin d'Argail by Charles Nodier, first presented by the Ballet of the Moscow Imperial Bolshoi Theatre on January 25/February 6 ,...

    .
  • №6 Riccardo Drigo. Insertion for the ballerina Varvara Nikitina's performance in Marius Petipa's 1892 revival of Filippo Taglioni
    Filippo Taglioni
    Filippo Taglioni was an Italian dancer and choreographer and personal teacher to his own daughter, the famous Romantic ballerina Marie Taglioni. He is the son of Carlo and father of both Marie and Paul...

    's original 1832 version of the ballet La Sylphide
    La Sylphide
    La Sylphide is one of the world's oldest surviving romantic ballets. There were two versions of the ballet; the version choreographed by the Danish balletmaster August Bournonville is the only version known to have survived....

    .
  • №7 Léo Delibes
    Léo Delibes
    Clément Philibert Léo Delibes was a French composer of ballets, operas, and other works for the stage...

    . Taken from Delibes's portion of the score for Arthur Saint-Léon's 1866 ballet La Source.

Solos from other stagings

Although most versions of the Paquita Grand pas classique contain the same classical variations as other stagings, some versions include solos that other versions do not. The list below reveals the origins of solos found in other stagings.
  • Placed second in Natalia Makorva's staging for American Ballet Theatre. Music by Riccardo Drigo. Insertion for the ballerna Pierina Legnani's performance in Lev Ivanov's 1901 revival of Marius Petipa's La Camargo
    Camargo (ballet)
    Camargo is a "Grand ballet" in 3 acts/9 scenes, with choreography by Marius Petipa, and music by Ludwig Minkus. The libretto, by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Marius Petipa, is based on an incident in the life of the 18th century dancer Marie Camargo, in which she and her sister...

    .
  • Placed third in Nikita Dolgushin's staging for the Maly Theatre Ballet. Music by Riccardo Drigo. Insertion for Achille Coppini's 1902 revival of Arthur Saint-Léon's 1866 ballet La Source.
  • Placed fifth in Natalia Makarova's staging for American Ballet Theatre. Music by Alexei Papkov. Insertion for the ballerina Alexandra Shaposhnikova's performance in Paquita. Circa 1900.
  • Placed sixth in Nikita Dolgushin's staging for the Maly Theatre Ballet by Riccardo Drigo. Insertion for the ballerina Ekaterina Vazem's performance in Marius Petipa's 1881 revival of Joseph Mazilier
    Joseph Mazilier
    Joseph Mazilier was a 19th-century French dancer, balletmaster and choreographer. He was most noted for his ballets Paquita and Le Corsaire...

    's 1846 ballet Paquita.
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