Jump to content


From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(left to right) Georges Ellie as Iñigo, Carlotta Grisi as Paquita, and Lucien Petipa as Lucien d'Hervilly in Act I, Scene 2. Paris, 1844
Choreographed byJoseph Mazilier
Composed byEdouard Deldevez
Libretto byJoseph Mazilier and Paul Foucher
Date of premiere1 April 1846
Place of premiereSalle Le Peletier, Paris
Original ballet companyParis Opera
Lucien d'Hervilly
SettingAct 1: Gypsy camp
Act 2: Great hall
Created forCarlotta Grisi
TypeRomantic ballet

Paquita is a romantic ballet in two acts and three scenes. Its story was written by Joseph Mazilier and Paul Foucher. The music was composed by Edouard Deldevez. It was originally choreographed by Joseph Mazilier. Paquita was first performed in the Salle Le Peletier by the Paris Opera Ballet on 1 April 1846. It starred Carlotta Grisi and Lucien Petipa. Paquita remained in the repertory of the Opéra until 1851.

The story takes place in Spain during the occupation of Napoleon's army. The heroine is the young Gypsy girl, Paquita. She is really of noble birth. She was abducted by Gypsies when she was an infant. She saves the life of a young French officer, Lucien d'Hervilly. He is the target of a Spanish governor who desires to have him killed by Iñigo, a Gypsy chief. Paquita discovers that she is of noble birth. She is in fact the cousin of Lucien. She and Lucien marry.

In 1847, Paquita was staged for the first time in Russia for the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg by Marius Petipa and Pierre-Frédéric Malevergne. It was Petipa's first ballet staged in Russia. In 1881, Petipa produced a revival of the ballet. He added new pieces specially composed by Ludwig Minkus. This included the Pas de trois (aka the Minkus Pas de trois or Paquita Pas de trois) for the first act, and the Paquita Grand pas classique and the Mazurka des enfants (Children's mazurka) for the last act. Petipa's version of Paquita remained in the repertory of the Mariinsky Theatre until 1926.

Marius 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. They have been staged by ballet companies throughout the world.

In 2001, the Ballet Master Pierre Lacotte produced a revival of the full-length, two act Paquita for the Paris Opera Ballet. Although Lacotte re-choreographed most of the ballet himself, he restored Joseph Mazilier's original mime sequences and mise-en-scène, as well as Marius Petipa's 1881 additions.

Romantic Ballets
Sketch of a female ballet dancer posing en pointe in a mid-length, white dress; her hair and bodice are covered in orange flowers

The Ballet of the Nuns (1831)
La Sylphide (1832)
Giselle (1841)
Napoli (1842)
Pas de Quatre (1845)
Paquita (1846)
Coppélia (1870)