Pas de Quatre was a historic ballet because it united four beloved ballerinas from the past. The ballet was choreographed by Jules Perrot in 1845 to Cesare Pguni’s music. It premiered in London on July 1845 with great anticipation.
Who Where These four Beloved Ballerinas from the Past?
The reason for this was that it brought together, on one stage, the four greatest ballerinas of the time. The ballerinas were, in order of appearance, Lucile Grahn, Carlotta Grisi, Fanny Cerrito, and Marie Taglioni. The order of appearance was done by age, from youngest to oldest, to quelch further confrontations between them.
The fifth great Romantic ballerina of the time, Fanny Elssler, was invited to take part in the gala event but declined to do so; the young Lucile Grahn accepted without hesitation.
Pas de Quatre captured the essence of the Romantic style as the ballerinas danced with demure lightness, delicacy, and poise. The steps demand that each area of classical ballet technique is executed. These areas include adagio movements, petite allegro, grand allegro, fast footwork, graceful changes of position, and the elegant and fluid arm movements that have become a signature element of Pas de Quatre.
It must have been breathtaking to watch these four beloved ballerinas from the past dancing on stage together.
But since that’s not possible, here’s a more recent version with beloved ballerinas of today: Alicia Alonso, Melissa Hayden, Nora Kaye and Mia Slavenska in this 1960 video.
Thanks to Antoine Azcuaga for sharing this video on YouTube.
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Images from wikipedia.org cc.