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"Giselle" 1884 Petipa/Minkus Act I PDD

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This Act 1 Pas de deux was created for the prima ballerina, Maria Gorshenkova when Petipa first revived Giselle in 1884 and Mlle. Gorshenkova danced the title role. The music is by Minkus, who was the ballet composer for the St Petersburg Imperial Theatres at the time, which meant that when Petipa staged a new production and added new pieces, Minkus was the one who composed the music - this is also how the Paquita Grand Pas Classique was born - Minkus composed the music for that.

However, unlike the Paquita Grand Pas Classique, this Giselle pas deux never found a permanent place in the Imperial Ballet repertoire because back then, when a ballerina had a new piece created for her, that piece literally became her legal property and no one else was allowed to dance it, unless she gave someone else her permission to dance it. So the original Petipa choreography for this pas de deux was never notated and as far as I know, Mlle. Gorshenkova was the only ballerina who ever danced it back in Imperial Russia.

Also as far as I know, no production in the world today uses this music as an Act 1 pas de deux for Albrecht and Giselle, although I would really like to see someone using it for that very purpose one of these days. I think it would be a really lovely way to show the love between Albrecht and Giselle blossoming.

The Dutch National Ballet utilized some of the music for the Peasant pas de deux in their current production.

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if mem. serves the GISELLE video w/ Nureyev and Seymour, w/ the following credits, includes some of this Minkus pas de deux music, w/choreography by Mary Skeaping, if i read the credits correctly:

  • Giselle / produced by Magnetic Video Corporation/Twentieth Century Fox ; directed by Stanley Dorfman and Rudolf Nureyev ; produced by Stanley Dorfman ; choreography by Peter Wright after Coralli and Perrot ; music by Adolphe Adam. 1979. (76 min.)
  • Notes : Choreography for Pas des vendanges, Mary Skeaping ; costumes, Peter Farmer.
  • Performed by the Bavarian State Opera Ballet
  • Rudolf Nureyev (Albrecht), Lynn Seymour (Giselle), Monica Mason (Queen of the Wilis), Youri Vamos (Hilarion), and Gerd Larsen (Berthe).
  • Music performed by the New World Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by David Coleman.

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Petipa's definitive revival of Giselle of 1884 followed versions by Coralli and Perrot and was established by Maria Gorzhenkova in the title role.

Petipa having seemingly arranged his definitive revival of Giselle in 1884 for the Ballerina Maria Gorzhenkova, however, he made ​​his final touches to the work, to debut Anna Pavlova in 1903 having the confidence in her following her triumphant performance as Nikiya in 1902.

It is clear that Petipa amended in parts the choreography for Pavlova's Giselle which is confirmed in the Stepanov notation held in the Sergeyev collection.

The notation can be dated to1903, based on Anna Pavlova’s performance history in Giselle because her name is included in the notations of both acts.

See also:

http://www.pnb.org/AboutPNB/Repertory/Giselle.aspx

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To further clarify: I date the Stepanov notation of Act I of Giselle circa 1903, because Pavlova is named as Giselle in the notation of that act. The notation of Act II, however, uses the name "Giselle" for the title role, rather than Pavlova, who is listed in the notation dancing the role of Zulme, which she first danced in 1899. So it is possible that (at least parts of) Act II was notated as early as 1899.

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To further clarify: I date the Stepanov notation of Act I of Giselle circa 1903, because Pavlova is named as Giselle in the notation of that act. The notation of Act II, however, uses the name "Giselle" for the title role, rather than Pavlova, who is listed in the notation dancing the role of Zulme, which she first danced in 1899. So it is possible that (at least parts of) Act II was notated as early as 1899.

During her final year at the Imperial Ballet School, Pavlova performed many small roles with the Mariinsky Ballet.

The mention of 1899, is I suggest merely a notated reference to Pavlova's official graduation debut in “The Imaginary Dryad's” as one would find in an official record.

Whilst Alexander Gorsky had perfected the Stepanov notation and moved to Moscow, Nicholas Grigorovich Sergeyev was appointed regisseur of the Imperial Ballet in 1903 he assigned Alexander Chekrygin and the following year Victor Rakhmanov and later Nikolai Kremnev and S.Ponomaryev who undertook the majority of the notation of the repertoire.

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