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Paquita: Parade of Ballet Goddesses

 

It’s the third time that the ballet masterpiece, Paquita by Ludwig Minkus, returns to the Belarusian stage. “The choreography of Marius Petipa is the one of a genius!” Tatyana Ershova exclaims. The People’s Artist of Belarus Tatyana Ershova will give a new life to the production. The performance will take place on 21 September. 

Paquita is the short for Grand pas to Ludwig Minkus’ music from the eponymous ballet choreographed by Marius Petipa. The ballet under this title was first presented in Paris in 1846. Joseph Mazilier and Édouard Deldevez were the respective authors of the music and choreography. The ballet was a tremendous success in Paris and London, so it was no wonder that it was the first work staged by the 29-year-old Marius Petipa in St Petersburg.

The image of the main character and the main story lines were borrowed from Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’ novella La gitanilla. Paquita is a young pretty girl and a wonderful dancer. She was born into a noble family, but as a child she was abducted by Gypsies and now leads a nomad’s life with the Gypsy band. As a result of numerous adventures Paquita learns the truth about her family, finds her relatives and a fiancé, a young noble man Lucien who is deeply in love with her. Paquita and Lucien’s sumptuous wedding becomes a happy final of this tangled story. The success of Paquita in St Petersburg exceeded all the expectations.  

In Soviet times Paquita almost disappeared from the theatrical repertoire, while its finale Grand pas began an independent life and is now included into the repertoire worldwide.

 

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