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Petipa's "The Sacrifices of Cupid"

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After RG mentioned that Wiley's book "The Life and Ballets of Lev Ivanov" contained the scneario of the Drigo/Petipa "The Awakening of Flora" i looked into the book. I found that it contained all soprts of valuable stuff (why hadnt I heard about this book before?). Anyway I quickly snatched up a copy off of Amazon.com, which I got for only $60.00! (other copies went for anywhere from $90.00-$250.00!). The copy was brand new, minus the jacket. I was very pleased!

In the book Wiley mentions Ivanov's 1893revival of Petipa's ballet "The Sacrifices of Cupid". Theres also a photo of dancers costumed for the work. This work is not listed in Garafola's "Diaries of Marius Petipa"...I was thinking that perhaps it has another title?

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Although the title is slightly different, it would appear that the ballet in question is "The Offerings of Cupid" with music by Minkus, first staged by Petipa at Peterhof with Yevgenia Pavlovna Sokolova (1850-1928) in 1886. I am sorry I have no other information at present.

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in a number of books, 'MARIUS PETIPA, MATERIALI,[etc]' as well as in the lazzarinis' and keith money's studies of anna pavlova, there is a group photo very much in the mode of the photo in wiley's IVANOV, including the presence of the statue of cupid, showing a young anna pavlova.

the ballet in question is variously captioned: in the MATERIALI it's called, roughly, BOLSHEBNAYA SKAZKA. (the lazzarinis translate this as THE MAGIC TALE, garafola says THE FAIRY TALE - the date in the petipa chron. is 1892, and it was said to have been a specially produced one-act ballet for the school. the music was by richter [no first name given]. very little information other than what garafola gets from the MATERIALI seems available in english.

the lazzarinis and money reproductions are clean and clear, but these books are harder to put into a scanner, so, fyi i'll scan less crisp version from my petipa book: pavlova - in one of the earliest photos of her in performance - is the pupil holding the bird cage on the left of the photo.


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I think you are quite right that the the two photographs the Wiley one (with Nikolai Legat to the right)

and that which you illustrate, share great similarities in costuming which would suggest 'The Offerings(Sacrifices) of (to) Cupid' especially as each share the same cupid statuette. 'The Magic Tale' staged in 1892(or 1891 according to the Russian Ballet Encyclopaedia with Grigorovich named as editor) may well have employed the same Baroque style costumes used in the former ballet.

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if wiley is correct with his IVANOV caption identifying the group photo among his illustrations as THE SACRIFICES OF CUPID, he seems to have slipped up and should have noted 'the sacrifices TO cupid', still the following may help answer some questions about the work.

the NYPL dance cat. gives the following lineage of the ballet:

Offrandes à l'amour Chor: Jean Georges Noverre; mus: Joseph Mazzinghi and Joseph Haydn; scen: Gaetano Marinari; cos: Thomas Lupino. First perf: London, King's Theatre, Haymarket, Dec 8, 1787.

Offrandes à l'Amour (Original title: Zhertvy amuru ili Radosti liubvi. Chor & lib: Marius Petipa; mus: Ludwig Minkus. First perf: Russia: Peterhof, on Olgin island, July 22, 1886 (O.S.), by some members of the Maryinsky troupe.//First perf at Maryinsky Theater: Nov 25, 1886 (O.S.)

Offrandes à l'Amour Original title: Zhertvy amuru ili Radosti liubvi. Chor: Lev Ivanov after Petipa; mus: Ludwig Minkus; lib: Marius Petipa; scen: Mikhail Bocharov. First perf: St. Petersburg, Maryinsky Theater, Sept 26, 1893 (O.S.)

garafola gives the work as follows:

LES OFFRANDES A L'AMOUR, OU LE BONHEUR EST D'AIMER (THE OFFERINGS TO LOVE, HAPPINESS IS LOVING), a 'ballet in 1 act' w/ music by minkus and first given on 22 july at a peterhof gala performance; subsequently 25 nov. (also 1886), at the maryinsky. [no dancers listed]

borisoglebskii notes that a production (after noverre?) was given 20 aug 1798 at gatchino; on 30 aug. it would seem the work was given at petersburg's stone (bolshoi?) theater. later it appears the work was given at the hermitage.

another borisoglebskii entry for this work, in russian. as ZHERTVOPRINOSHENIE AMURU (LIUBVI) - described as a 'grand anacreontic divertissement (by didlo) was given 24 aug 1826 as a benefit for istomina. in 1834 the work was given w/ lopukhina - if i'm catchng the information given correctly.

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Offtopic but somewhat interesting:

The bird in the cage Pavlova and her partner are carrying appears to be an owl, which means that the citystate of Athens is being brought as an offering. The owl was its animal attribute, like a British lion or an American eagle.

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interesting, but the ballet supposedly being illustrated w/ the grouping that includes pavlova is said to be THE FAIRY TALE (or THE MAGIC TALE) [the petipa richter work] and not L'OFFRANDES...

to be sure however little of this certain w/ these captions guessed at over more than 100 years.

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