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#1 antoP



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Posted 22 June 2000 - 12:19 AM

Jules Perrot worked as principal ballet master (1851-1858) at St. Petersburg. I haven't found a lot about his work there and the reasons why he was dismissed.
Also, how did he influence Petipa? antoP.

#2 Mel Johnson

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Posted 22 June 2000 - 06:28 AM

Perrot first showed up as a dancer in St. Petersburg in 1848, as a dancer. In 1851, they made him ballet master, and he was dismissed from that post in 1860 for prolonged absence caused by a badly inflamed foot. He produced restagings of the works of Mazilier and St. Léon there, giving them his own stylistic stamp, as well as staged ballets of his own, like Esmeralda, Ondine, La Vivandiere, Le Corsaire and Le Diable a Quatre. As to Perrot's influence on Petipa, it would have taken the form of the integration of the corps de ballet with the soloists and principals, dances which sprang from the dramatic content of the libretto, and brilliant variations for the ballerina.

[This message has been edited by Mel Johnson (edited June 22, 2000).]

#3 Alexandra


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Posted 22 June 2000 - 08:35 AM

Great summary, Mel! There's a very good biography of Perrot in English by Ivor Guest -- big, thick, lots of pictures. He makes you really long to see some of Perrot's ballets. They sound very much like Bournonville's, but on a bigger scale (set for much bigger companies and stages), but much of the same detail. I think he staged Giselle in St. Petersburg also? (from memory, didn't look it up)

#4 Natalia


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Posted 22 June 2000 - 09:16 AM

Indeed, Alexandra - Perrot staged Giselle for Grisi, on the occasion of her Russian debut. In fact, it was quite a challenge, as Petersburgers had vivid recent memories of their favorite foreign ballerina, Elssler!

Perrot's most famous Petersburg production was perhaps the 1851 staging of "The Naiad & the Fisherman" (new title for Russian edition of "Ondine") in the gardens of Peterhof, on the occasion of the birthday of Tsar Nikolai I's favourite daughter, Olga. During one of my journeys to Russia, I discovered the exact spot where this ballet was staged! Unlike reports in English-language accounts (Wiley, etc.), this production did NOT take place on Olga Island. Rather, it took place in a lovely wooded locale on the southern reaches of the Peterhof complex, in an area called "ozerki" (lakes). I found the remains of the orchestra pit depicted in the famous lithograph of the event...the wrought-iron grill is an exact match! My Russian friends-- scientists, not ballet-nuts -- wondered why I was crying & making a big deal ("I am standing on the spot where Grisi danced the Naiad!"). Anyhow, that is my Perrot-Naiad story. Posted Image By the way, Naiad was 'revived" by Lacotte in the early 1980s & a lovely television film of the production exists in private collections.

AntoP - Perrot did not last very long in Russia, in part, due to his indifference to the Russian ballerinas, such as Andreyanova. He did not exactly win friends & influence people at the Imperial Theaters.

[This message has been edited by Jeannie (edited June 22, 2000).]

#5 Estelle


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Posted 22 June 2000 - 09:45 AM

Jeannie, thanks for telling us about "The Naiad and the Fisherman". Fo which company did Lacotte stage it? Was it successful?

Koegler's dictionary also says, in the notice about Marius Petipa, that as a dancer he had danced in works such as "Giselle" and "La Esmeralda" (by Perrot), and also "when 'Giselle' was revived in 1850, he made some changes in the Wilis scenes, which became the Grand Pas des Wilis of 1884. Perrot's assistant for a while, then created his first ballet for Saint-Petersburg, 'The Star of Granada' (1855). Appointed first ballet master there in 1862."

#6 Natalia


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Posted 22 June 2000 - 10:11 AM

This was for the Kirov-Mariinsky, Estelle.

One of the very fine qualities of then-Director Oleg Vinogradov was a desire to revive great productions from the past, e.g., his "Romantic Ballet Evening" including Saint-Leon's "Markitanka" (Vivandiere) & "Pas de Quatre," a program which is now available on video. Unfortunately, he could only go so far, due to the need to walk a political tightrope which necessitated maintenance of the Konstantin Sergeyev/Natalia Dudinskaya versions of ballets. As Sergeyev/Dudinskaya had never put their imprint on "Esmeralda," "Markitanka" or "Naiad," Vinogradov was free to go-ahead with their recontructions, with Lacotte & others in charge.

Even if the Harvard Manuscripts would have been available on a silver platter to Vinogradov, a revival of the 1890 "Sleeping Beauty" would have been out of the question back in the "Commie Era". In fact, the old guard at the Mariinsky Theater are very upset that the Konstantin Sergeyev & other Soviet productions are being supplanted. As many of you know, next up for decapitation is Vasily Vainonen's "Nutcracker." Very interesting, isn't it? Only six months left, folks, to see the infamous pink cotton-candy wigs on the corps dancers in the Waltz of the Flowers (a.k.a. "Rose Waltz")! Those wigs will be a thing of the past soon. Posted Image

[This message has been edited by Jeannie (edited June 22, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Jeannie (edited June 22, 2000).]

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