Ballet in two acts after a libretto by Paul Foucher and Joseph Mazilier (1846)

Choreography Alexei Ratmansky, Marius Petipa · Composer Edouard-Marie-Ernest Deldevez, Ludwig Minkus, u.a.

Tuesday, 30. December 2014
07:30 pm

· 1. Akt (est. 07:30 pm - 08:20 pm ) · Interval (est. 08:20 pm - 08:50 pm ) · 2. Akt (est. 08:50 pm - 09:40 pm )

Prices G , € - /- /- /- /- /- /- /7

Premiere at 13. December 2014

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Inszenierung und ergänzende Choreographie
Alexei Ratmansky
unter Einbeziehung der choreographischen Überlieferung von
Marius Petipa
Erschließung der historischen Tanznotationen
Doug Fullington
Edouard-Marie-Ernest Deldevez, Ludwig Minkus
Musikalische Einrichtung
Maria Babanina
Revision der Orchestrierung und Neuinstrumentierungen
Myron Romanul
Bühne und Kostüme
Jérôme Kaplan
Vincent Millet
Wissenschaftliche Beratung
Marian Smith
Musikalische Leitung
Myron Romanul

Daria Sukhorukova
Lucien d'Hervilly
Matej Urban
Norbert Graf
Graf von Hervilly
Peter Jolesch
Die Gräfin
Elaine Underwood
Don Lopez de Mendoza
Vittorio Alberton
Donna Serafina
Emma Barrowman
Pas de trois - Solistin 1
Mai Kono
Pas de trois - Solistin 2
Katherina Markowskaja
Pas de trois - Solist
Jonah Cook
Grand Pas Variation
Séverine Ferrolier, Magdalena Lonska, Zuzana Zahradníková
  • Soloists and corps de ballet of the Bavarian State Ballet
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester
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It is a story superbly told by the ballet of the 19th century: A young aristocrat, Lucien d'Hervilly, falls in love with the beautiful gypsy girl Paquita in the Spanish province of Saragossa, an area heavily besieged by French military troops. Lucien, however, is already betrothed to the daughter of the Spanish governor, Don Lopez de Mendoza, in what is considered a most beneficial political alliance. Driven by his nationalistic loathing for the French assailants, Don Lopez – together with Paquita's jealous guardian, the gypsy Inigo – concocts a plan to assassinate Lucien.

Paquita, however, eavesdrops on their conspiratorial exchange and foils their scheme. In a moment of utter desperation, when the young couple despairs of the supposedly insurmountable class difference which divides them, the true identity of Paquita is revealed. She is, in fact, Lucien's cousin who was thought abducted by bandits when only a child.

The ballet's plot as set down in the libretto does not pretend to obey the laws of narrative realism or plausibility; mistaken wine goblets, a portrait hanging at the right place at the right time, and a locket cherished and preserved since childhood are the elements which determine the story's unraveling. Like in many of the great operas by Verdi, the most momentous truths lie concealed beneath the apparently inconsequential improbabilities of the plotline. In this case, the artistic verity of the ballet Paquita unfolds itself in the overwhelming force of its choreographic and formal grandeur. With this piece, Marius Petipa yet again succeeded in transforming a French romantic ballet into a major work of Russian classicism, attesting once more to his standing as the greatest genius of 19th ballet.


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Act I The Valley of the Bulls near Zaragoza in Spain 1813, the country is occupied by French troops.

A stonemason is about to finish the inscription on an monument in memory of the murder of the French Count d’Hervilly, his wife and their daughter by bandits, fifteen years previously. The monument was ordered by count d'Hervilly's brother, the French General d'Hervilly. He comes to unveil the monument, accompanied by his mother and his son Lucien. Also present for the festivities are the Spanish Governor of the Province, Don Lopez de Mendoza, and his daughter Serafina. Doña Serafina and Lucien are betrothed – a political calculation, as usual in those days.

For the festivities of the unveiling of the monument a group of gypsies has been engaged to provide dance entertainment. Inigo is their leader, Paquita the first dancer.

The gypsies first show a delightful pas de trois, then a great ensemble dance, the pas des manteaux, for which half of the gypsy girls dress as men. Highlight is the pas de sept bohémiens where Paquita can show her dancing skills, accompanied by six girls.

Lucien is immediately attracted to the young gypsy who is so outstanding within the group of gypsies. With his interest in Paquita Lucien gets in the way of Inigo who is passionately in love with Paquita. She does not return his affection, while she has taken notice of the young French officer who so boldly tries to defend her against the attacks of the furious Inigo. She turns to Lucien with confidence to show him a medallion that she has preserved, carefully hidden, since childhood. She is convinced that the portrait must give an indication of her parents. And even now, in this place, everything seems reminiscent of this long ago moment of her childhood when she had to witness the bloody massacre from which she was narrowly rescued. But in her quarrel with Inigo she loses the medallion which Inigo quickly grabs. Paquita is desperate with the loss.

In the meantime the Governor Don Lopez hatches his own plot. In no way does he consider a conciliatory marriage between Serafina and Lucien. He plans Lucien's death. He takes advantage of Inigo's jealousy. Together they plan the murder of the young French officer. Paquita and Lucien meet once again. Lucien declares his love for her. She draws his attention to the great complications of their situation: his engagement to Serafina, his high social rank. She is not even willing to give him a small bunch of flowers as token of her affection. He does not take 'no' for an answer. Only Inigo seperates the two.

The festivities are coming to an end. Inigo initiates his murderous intrigue: he hires a gypsy girl to present Lucien with some flowers that were allegedly sent by Paquita. For Lucien this is the sign that Paquita is prepared to meet with him in a secret place. Only Inigo knows what actually is awaiting him there…

Act II
A deserted underground tavern, inhabited by the gypsies

Paquita thinks of the handsome officer whom perhaps she will never meet again. She hides as she notices the arrival of Inigo and the Governor Don Lopez. The two discuss details of the murder of Lucien. Four gypsies are part of the plan. Inigo plans to make Lucien unconscious with a drink of wine, poisoned by a sleeping powder. Then he is to be stabbed to death. A tricky revolving wall is part of the plan.

Paquita gives herself away with a loud noise and needs all her powers of persuasion to convince Inigo that she has neither heard nor seen anything. Then Lucien appears, drenched by a thunderstorm and convinced that Paquita has asked him to come to a meeting. Paquita tries to make him realize the imminent danger. They sit down for a meal. In its course Inigo's plans to make Lucien drink the poisoned wine. However, Paquita succeeds in a daring action to exchange the glasses of Lucien and Inigo. Inigo drinks the poisoned drink he has prepared for Lucien and falls asleep. To her great joy Paquita even discovers her lost medallion that slipped from Inigo's pocket in all the turmoil. Lucien and Paquita throw Lucien's coat over Inigo's head and escape. The gypsies, hired for the murder, arrive and stab the person at the table, hidden under Lucien's coat. They are horrified to discover that they killed Inigo.

A large ballroom in the house of the French commander in Zaragoza

In the French commander's house the ball is in full swing. French ladies in splendid dresses come with the impressive members of the Napoleonic army. There are also members of the Spanish aristocracy in their national costumes. While the guests line up for contredanse and gavotte, Lucien’s grandmother is concerned about his absence.

Full of amazement the crowd separates: Lucien and Paquita appear hand in hand and tell about their adventures. Lucien declares that he wants to marry the girl who saved him. Paquita, however, still refuses his marriage proposal. When she discovers the Governor of the Province, Don Lopez, among the guests she unmasks him as the main schemer in the thwarted intrigue. He is arrested and led away. Suddenly a painting catches Paquita’s eye. It is the portrait of a French officer. No doubt – the person on the painting is identical with her medallion – and that proves that Paquita is the daughter believed dead of the murdered Count d’Hervilly! Happily the General now gives his blessing to the marriage of his retrieved niece with his son and the festivities can continue.

Clad like a lady of French aristocracy Paquita returns and dances amidst the guests of the ball the famous Grand Pas, a brilliant suite of entrée, adagio, solo variations culminating in the soli of Lucien and Paquita and a virtuoso coda.

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A team of artists and scientists with Alexei Ratmansky at the helm reconstructs Marius Petipa's full-length ballet Paquita for the Bavarian State Ballet. This enterprise stands fully in the company's tradition of critically examining and probing the great works of the 19th century.

By consulting a considerable amount of source material, Alexei Ratmansky will stage a reworking which will attempt to do justice to the spirit of the original version as well as to the audience's high expectations and – in comparison to the 19th century – radically altered modes of reception. As with all the prior reconstruction-projects of the Bavarian State Ballet, both artistic and scientific advisors will support the choreographer in the analysis of the musical and choreographic sources at hand. The advisors for this specific production are, most notably, Maria Babanina, Doug Fullington and Marian Smith. Originally from St. Petersburg, the pianist and music historian Maria Babanina has been with the Bavarian State Ballet since 1990, in which capacity she arranged the musical scores of La Bayadère, Raymonda and Le Corsaire. Doug Fullington, who retains a long-standing employment with the Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) in Seattle, recreated Le Corsaire for the Munich company by consulting the so-called Sergejew-papers. These documents contained – among other things – choreographic records in Stepanov-notation which Ivan Liška integrated in his own reworking of the piece. Correspondingly, Alexei Ratmansky will bring to life the Stepanov-notations of Paquita as deciphered by Doug Fullington.

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Alexei Ratmansky wurde 1968 in St. Petersburg geboren und erhielt seine Ballettausbildung an der Bolschoi Ballettakademie in Moskau. Er tanzte als Erster Solist beim Ukrainischen Nationalballett, beim Royal Winnipeg Ballet und beim Royal Danish Ballet. Noch als aktiver Tänzer begann er eine aufsehenerregende Karriere als Choreograph. Seither arbeitet er für die bedeutendsten Ensembles der Welt, darunter das Ballett des Mariinsky Theaters in St. Petersburg, das Ballett der Pariser Oper, das Royal Ballet in London, das Royal Danish Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, das Nierderländische Nationalballett, das New York City Ballet, Amercian Ballet Theatre oder San Francisco Ballet.

Daneben hat er Choreographien für Tänzerstars wie Nina Ananiashvili, Wendy Wheelan, Diana Vishneva oder Mikhail Baryshnikov geschaffen. Von 2004 bis 2008 war Ratmansky der künstlerische Direktor des Bolschoi Balletts in Moskau, für das er abendfüllende Ballette wie The Bright Stream (2003), The Bolt (2005) und Verlorene Illusionen (2011) schuf. Außerdem brachte er dort als Kombination von Rekonstruktion und Neuproduktion Le Corsaire (2007) und „Die Flammen von Paris“ (2008) heraus. Seit 2009 ist er dem American Ballet Theatre in New York durch einen langfristigen Vertrag als Artist in Residence verbunden. Für das Bayerische Staatsballett erarbeitete er bereits 2014 Marius Petipas Paquita.
Sein choreographisches Werk wurde mit vielen Preisen gewürdigt. Angefangen von der Goldenen Maske für Dreams of Japan (1998), die ihm danach noch dreimal verliehen wurde (2004, 2007 und 2010). 2005 erhielt Ratmansky für Anna Karenina den Prix Benois de la Danse. Es folgten 2006 der Dmitry Shostakovich Preis sowie ein Londoner Critics' Circle Award. Hinzu kamen in den USA der Bessie Award und der Dance Magazine Award, die er 2011 erhielt. Im selben Jahr wurde er von der Dänischen Königin Margrethe II mit dem Dannebrogorden ausgezeichnet.

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