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L' Épreuve d'amour


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Ballet in one act with choreography by Fokine, music by various composers, and design by Derain (who was also co-librettist with Fokine). Premiered 4 Apr. 1936 by R. Blum's Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, at Monte Carlo, with Nemchinova, Eglevsky, Yazvinsky, Oboukhov, and Kirsova. Based on a Korean fairy-tale, this light and witty piece of chinoiserie tells the story of a Mandarin's daughter who is engaged to a rich Ambassador but loves an impoverished youth. The latter disguises himself as a dragon and steals all the Ambassador's gold so that the Mandarin loses interest in the marriage and allows his daughter to marry her beloved. The ballet's score was initially attributed to Mozart when first discovered (in Graz, 1928) but it is now believed to be a collection of pieces written by various composers for Effisio Catte's Der Rekrut (The Recruit)—a divertissement first performed at the Vienna Kärntnertor Theater in 1838. After its discovery, the score was first choreographed by H. J. Fürstenau in Karlsruhe (1930). The Fokine version was revived by G. Gé (Finnish National Ballet, 1956) and by Beriozoff (Indiana University, 1980).

Subjects: Dance.


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