Choreographer Joseph Mazilier presented the first version of Paquita 1848 in Paris as a work typical of the French romantic ballet aesthetic. Paquita was soon transported to St. Petersburg by none other than Marius Petipa who extended and revamped the piece significantly to elevate the piece to the league of ‘the classics’.
Paquita hasn’t been in its entirety since 1923 – the mere survivor is the often-performed final act divertissement set to music by Ludwig Minkus. Thanks to the rediscovery and interpretation of historical documents and notations from Petipa’s time and the dedicated work of an expert team of musicians and the most sought-after classical choreographers of our time, Paquita was given new life. The long anticipated première takes place on December 13, 2014.
About the production
Alexei Ratmansky takes a step back and dedicates his talents to creating an authentic reconstruction of Paquita. Together with dance scholar Doug Fullington, who has previously worked on ‘decoding’ Le Corsaire in Munich, he deciphered the steps recorded in Stepanov Notation. The original choreography differs distinctly from the way classical dance is presented today. The audience will be challenged to closely observe the mime scenes, which are essential to the storyline. Ratmansky chose to reconstruct these scenes with careful precision to present them in exactly the way they were performed in the 19th century.
Jérôme Kaplan created the lush production design, inspired by the creation period of Paquita. Kaplan’s eye for every little detail and his elaborate costume designs help transport the audience to the gypsy community and the abundant world of the Spanish-French aristocracy.
Spain is at the cusp of the 19th century under Napoleon’s reign. As a child, Paquita barely escaped a robbery to which her parents fell victim. She grows up in a community of gypsies, unaware of her real heritage.
15 years later, the story continues at the dedication ceremony for a memorial stone, led by the brother of the deceased, French Commander-General d’Hervilly and his son Lucien. The Governor of the local province, Don Lopez attends. During the many divertissements at the ceremony, Paquita, the lead dancer of the gypsy troupe, and Lucien fall in love. Political and personal intrigues develop which ultimately aren’t won by the enemy – Don Lopez and Inigo, the leader of the gypsies – but by Paquita. Her real identity as the General’s niece and cousin of Lucien is revealed and nothing stands in the way of the bond between the two lovers, Paquita and Lucien.
Alexei Ratmansky / Marius Petipa
Sat 13.12.14, 7:30 pm première
Tue 16.12.14, 7:30 pm
Thu 18.12.14, 7:30 pm
Tue 30.12.14, 7:30 pm
Fri 02.01.15, 7:30 pm
Thu 08.01.15, 7:30 pm
Fri 09.01.15, 7:30 pm
Sun 11.01.15, 6:00 pm live on STAATSOPER.TV
«Paquita» live on STAATSOPER.TV
Save the date! Alexei Ratmansky’s Paquita worldwide live and free of charge on January 11.
As the first live stream of the ballet season, the Bavarian State Ballet presents Paquita to kick off the New Year on STAATSOPER.TV.
Artistic Director Ivan Liška will give a brief introduction to the piece prior to the evening’s performance. During intermission, viewers will be able to sneak a peek behind the scenes at the Nationaltheater.
Alexei Ratmansky / Marius Petipa
Sun 11.01.15, 6:00 pm
(Central European Time)