Lucien Petipa


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(b Marseilles, 22 Dec. 1815; d Versailles, 7 Jul. 1898)

French dancer, choreographer and ballet master. Son of the dancer Jean Antoine Petipa, brother of Marius Petipa. He studied with his father and danced for him in Brussels and Bordeaux. In 1839 he moved to Paris, where he made his debut in 1840 partnering Elssler in La Sylphide. He created the role of Albrecht in Giselle with Grisi (1841), and was Grisi's regular partner. A fine danseur noble, he created leading roles in Coralli's La Péri (1843) and Eucharis (1844), Mazilier's Le Diable à quatre (1845), Paquita (1846), Jovita, ou les Boucaniers (1853), Les Elfes (1856), and Marco Spada (1857), Mabille's Griseldis (1849), Perrot's La Filleule des fées (1849), and Cerrito's Gemma (1854). As a choreographer, his first important ballet was Sakountala (mus. E. Reyer, 1858). He was ballet master of the Paris Opera (1860–8), during which time he created Graziosa (mus. T. Labarre, 1861) and Le Roi d'Yvetot (mus. T. Labarre, 1865). He also collaborated in several important opera premieres, including Rossini's Sémiramis (1860), Wagner's Tannhäuser (1861), and Verdi's Don Carlos (1867). He retired early from the stage, the result of injury in a hunting accident. From 1880 he was professor of pantomime at the Paris Opera.

Subjects: Dance.

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