Royal Moscow Ballet returns to southern Africa in July with the Crown of the Russian Ballet, visiting several cities including Joburg.
The first act will be Paquita with music by Ludwig Minkus and choreography by Marius Petipa.
The second act will be The Firebird, a one-act ballet with music by Igor Stravinsky and choreography by Anatoly Emelianov. Paquita is the creation of French composer Édouard Deldevez and Paris Opéra Ballet Master Joseph Mazilier.
In 1847, Paquita was staged for the first time in Russia for the Imperial Ballet of St Petersburg by Marius Petipa and Pierre-Frédéric Malavergne, being the first work ever staged by Petipa in Russia.
In 1881, Petipa produced a revival of the ballet for which he added new pieces specially composed by Ludwig Minkus.
This included the Paquita pas de trois for the first act and the Paquita grand pas classique and the Mazurka des enfants for the last act.
Petipa’s version of Paquita was retained in the repertory of the Mariinsky Theatre until 1926.
Petipa’s 1881 additions for Paquita survived long after the full-length ballet left the stage.
Today these pieces, particularly the Grand pas classique, are major cornerstones of the traditional classical ballet repertory and have been staged by ballet companies throughout the world.
The Firebird is a ballet and orchestral concert work by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky.
It was written for the 1910 Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes company.
The original choreography was by Michel Fokine, with a scenario by Alexandre Benois and Fokine based on the Russian fairy tales of The Firebird and the blessing and curse it possesses for its owner.
The ballet has historic significance not only as Stravinsky’s breakthrough piece but also as the beginning of the collaboration between Diaghilev and Stravinsky that would also produce the acclaimed ballets Petrushka in 1911 and The Rite of Spring in 1913.