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1899 Cast The Corsaire Pas De Deux/a Trois

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no doubt RG has the answer to this question, but maybe others.....

Who was the very first dancers, besdies Legnani, to perfrom Drigo/Petipa Corsaire Pas de Deux/a Trois in 1899?

I have read in RG'sa article for balletalert that, "According to the New York Public Library Dance Collection, Aleksandr Chekrygin is given credit for the "interpolated dance" to music by Drigo, for the '99 production. If he was Legnani's partner, in true Petipa form, perhaps he was responsible for his own solo dancing.

"Whether or not this was then the "pas de deux à trois" shown to the world by the Gusev/Vinogradov Kirov Ballet production is uncertain."

-is this really so? what role did Chekrygin dance in the '99 production? Ali? Conrad?

What are the orgins of the role of Ali?

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as the days go by the 'pas de deux/trois' mystery of LE CORSAIRE only gets more difficult to figure out.

doug may likely be able to shed light in the near future, as he's been doing some work on the ballet's performance history, tho' i know he's not yet prepared to publish anything conclusive just now.

in short, it seems this now famous 'corsaire' number may not have been in the '99 petipa production at all and chekrygin's connection likely dates from sometime later, after 1910.

i have seen a number of house programs from russian productions that date from the late 19th c through to the early 20th and none includes any mention of an 'ali' character.

by the time zubkovsky was doing this number in the 1930s, there was a role called 'slave' (or 'rhab' in russian) for the pas de deux - i.e.not conrad - so perhaps this is the fellow who was eventually called ali in soviet russia.

as noted, the more one digs into this question, given spotty information, the less clear things are.

what appears clear, however, is that there was no pas de deux/trois listed for the '99 production in its house program and no character called ali.

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what appears clear, however, is that there was no pas de deux/trois listed for the '99 production in its house program and no character called ali.

interesting - I always wondered what exactly went on in the original staging, as the current 'pas de deux a trois' w/ ali, conrad, and medora seems 'petipa-esque', though the solo for Conrad seems like a later interpolation. It would be very interesting to find out what exactly was danced to the music of the current 'ali variation', not to mention the adagio, and coda...well all of it!

Also, I wonder if Legnani, performed her 32 foutees? I bet she did!

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I don't have any written sources to back me up and Greskovic and Doug Fullington are better qualified to answer this definitively but I always thought that it was for Pierina Legnani, Pavel Gerdt and Enrico Cecchetti. Maybe Cecchetti had already left the Imperial Ballet by 1899 though...

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the documents i have re: CORSAIRE in '99 include the program of the dances and a plot synopsis but not a cast list.

i suspect if cecchetti was in this cast he would have been playing the role of the pasha and not a youthful 'partner' of a slave. he would have been by this time 49 years old.

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