This ballet is dear to me, as it is the first ballet I danced as a corp member back in 1995. For Thursday at The Theater, I picked Paquita with the Paris National Opera. I’ve included some background of its history and plot below to quench your curiosity. I hope you enjoy it!
Paquita with the Paris National Opera
Thanks to BalletMix for uploading to YouTube this exquisite ballet!
Paquita is a ballet in two acts and three scenes, with libretto by Joseph Mazilier and Paul Foucher. Originally choreographed by Joseph Mazilier to the music of Edouard Deldevez. First presented by at the Salle Le Peletier by the Paris Opera Ballet 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 of St. Petersburg by Marius Petipa 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. 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 until 1926.
More on the ballet at wikipedia.org.
The plot takes place in Spain 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.
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