Pas de quatre

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Ballet divertissement with choreography and libretto by Perrot, and music by Pugni. Premiered 12 Jul. 1845 at Her Majesty's Theatre in London, with Taglioni, Grisi, Cerrito, and Grahn. A plotless ballet in full Romantic style, it brought together the four greatest ballerinas of the day, lured into the project by the clever manager of Her Majesty's Theatre, Benjamin Lumley. Perrot tailored his choreography to suit each of the rival ballerinas in turn, playing up to their individual strengths. Evocative lithographs of the time reveal how the celebrated quartet looked as a group, but since Perrot failed to notate his choreography, attempts to re-create it have been based on pure conjecture. These have included Keith Lester for the Markova-Dolin Ballet in 1936 and Dolin for Ballet Theatre in 1941 (a staging which was later taken into the repertoire of the Kirov).

Subjects: Dance.

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