The Age of Petipa Part 1: Marius Petipa
Marius Petipa March 11, 1818 – July 14, 1910 • Known as “the father of classical ballet” • Born in Marseilles, France • Moved to St. Petersburg, Russia in 1847 • Choreographed more than 60 ballets
Family history • Jean Antoine Petipa (father) was a famous French dancer and teacher. • Lucien Petipa (older brother) was a world famous dancer. • At 7yrs old Jean began teaching Marius ballet. • Marius HATED it! (But he was talented.)
Dance Scene of the 19th Century • French was the international language • Famous dancers of the day: Marie Taglioni, Fanny Elssler, Carlotta Grisi, Lucile Grahn, Fanny Cerrito • Famed ballet masters: Jules Perrot, FilippoTaglioni, Arthur Saint Leon • Famed teachers: Carlo Blasis, EnricoCecchetti, AugusteVestris
Getting back to Marius… • General education from Grande College in Brussels • Made performance debut in 1831 in father’s production of La Dansomanie • Belgian revolution made family move to Bordeaux then Nantes, where Petipa became a principal. • After touring North America, returned to Bordeaux to continue dancing and begin experimenting with choreography. • Partnered Carlotta Grisi in La Peri.
Travels abroad • Moved to Madrid, Spain • had a love affair with wife of Marquis de Chateaubriand (member of French Embassy) • Challenged to a duel by Chateaubriand… • Promptly left Spain and never returned • 1847 moved to St Petersburg, Russia
Russian Connection • End of 17th century, Peter the Great evolves arts in Russia by inviting artists from other countries. • 1738 Empress Anna begins the Imperial Ballet School. • Most of the great European dancers performed in Russia. • Taglioni’s partner, Christian Johanson, stayed as teacher and choreographer.
Petipa In Russia • Continued dancing, staging works and dabbling in choreography • 1854 marries ballerina Maria SergeyevnaSurovshchikova • 1858 retires form dancing, focuses energy on choreography • Created A Regency Marriage, The Parisian Market, & The Blue Dhalia for wife.
Politics of dance • 1862 La Fille du Pharaon • Appointed company ballet master • 1869 replaces Saint-Leon as director of Maryinsky • Established “ballet a grand spectacle” • 1882 married ballerina LubovaLeonidovna • Retired 1903 after The Magic Mirror failed
Petipa’s impact on ballet • Established Classical over Romantic by focusing on technical virtuosity rather than pantomime or dramatic expression • Emphasized central role of the female ballerina and bravura steps of the male danseur • Used elaborate stage designs and large casts • Created choreographic formula still used today
Petipa ballets • Don Quixote • La Bayadere • Bluebeard • Cinderella • Raymonda • Harliquinade • Le Corsair
Tchaikovsky ballets • PyotrIlyich Tchaikovsky composed: • Swan Lake • Sleeping Beauty • The Nutcracker
Lev Ivanov • February 1834- July 1901 • Incredibly musical • 1852 joined Imperial Ballet under Jules Perrot • 1885 appointed assistant to Petipa at Maryinksy Theater • In shadow of others throughout career
Ivanov’s choreographic contribution • Tendency towards Romantic over Classical • Petipa took full credit despite Ivanov’scontribuions • Believed to have choreographed : • Sleeping Beauty romantic vision scene • Swan Lake Act 2 • The Nutcracker (Petipa was sick, had to give credit)
Changes and endings • Early 1900s fashions and audience interests began shift away from Petipa’s Classical style • 1903 Petipa creates The Magic Mirror under pressure to change… flopped miserably • 1903 retired • 1906 Petipa’s memoirs are published; met with criticism and attacks • 1907 moves to southern Russia because of bad health • 1910 dies