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Le Diable boîteux


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(Eng. title The Devil on Two Sticks)

Ballet in three acts with choreography by Coralli, libretto by Butat de Gurguy and A Nourrit, music by Casimir Gide, sets by Feuchères, C. Séchan, J. -P. -M. Diéterle, C. A. Cambon, and H. -R. Philastre, and costumes by E. Lami. Premiered 1 Jun. 1836 at the Paris Opera, with Elssler and Mazilier. The plot is based on Le Sage's novel of the same title and tells the story of a Spanish student, Cléophas, who helps a demon to escape from a bottle and is rewarded by an introduction to three beautiful women, the dancer Florinda, the rich woman Dorotea, and the penniless Paquita. His attempts to pursue the first two are thwarted by other admirers and he also loses his money gambling. Finally he realizes it is Paquita he loves, and with a purse of gold given to them by Florinda they decide to marry. The ballet became famous for the cachucha which Elssler danced as Florinda. Based on a traditional Spanish rhythm, this dance is characterized by intricate stamping and tapping footwork, coquettish glances, and a supple, swaying torso. It became the most talked-about ballet in Paris and in the first London production of 1836 at the Drury Lane Theatre Pauline Duvernay scored a personal triumph.

Subjects: Dance.


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