Flore et Zéphire

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Ballet divertissement in one act with choreography and libretto by Didelot, music by Cesare Bossi, and design by Liparotti. Premiered at the King's Theatre, London, on 7 Jul. 1796 with Collinet (Mme Didelot), Hilligsberg, and Didelot. In many ways the work prefigured 19th-century Romanticism. Its plot is based on the Greek myth in which Zéphire, God of the Wind, falls in love with the nymph Flore, is then distracted by another beauty, but finally sweeps his true love up with him into the sky. By exploiting the advanced stage machinery of the King's Theatre, Didelot was able to fly his dancers through the air on wires and also aid his ballerinas in their efforts to hover on the tips of their toes. His choreography exaggerated differences between male and female dancing, and by experimenting with a more fluid and natural style of mime it created a dance language both more realistic and poetic than the current style. The ballet was very popular and performed all around Europe, thus establishing Didelot's reputation. Taglioni made her London debut in it in 1830. Massine created a ballet on the same subject, Zephyr et Flore (mus. Dukelsky, 1925).

Subjects: Dance.

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