Marius Petipa – Part III, The Pharoah’s Daughter.

Ballerina Svetlana Zakharova in the ballet “The Pharaoh’s Daughter, circa 2002

at The Bolshoi in Moscow.

“Photo of the ballerina Sofia Fedorova (1879-1963) costumed as the slave Hita with unidentified children in the choreographer Alexander Gorsky’s (1871-1924) revival of the choreographer Marius Petipa (1818-1910) and the composer Cesare Pugni’s (1902-1870) ballet The Pharaoh’s Daughter.”

“Photographic postcard of Anna Pavlova as the Princess Aspicia in the Petipa/Pugni The Pharaoh’s Daughter, Saint Petersburg, circa 1910. Pavlova performed her celebrated “Glow Worm Dance” in 1915.”

Photo taken at the Bolshoi Theatre Moscow of Anna Pvalova and Mikhail Mordkin circa 1905.

“Photographic postcard of the ballerina Vera Karalli and the danseur Platon Karsavin with unidentified children costumed for the Ballet Master Marius Petipa and the composer Cesare Pugni‘s ballet The Pharaoh’s Daughter. St. Petersburg, Russian Empire.”

During the 1860s, a healthy rivalry developed between Saint-Leon and Petipa, and the beneficiary was the Imperial Ballet. In 1861 Petipa was given six weeks to stage a benefit performance for the retiring ballerina, Carolina Rosati. During a sojourn in Paris, Petipa had acquired a scenario from the dramatist, Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges for a ballet, ‘The Pharoah’s Daughter’, inspired by Theophile Gautier’s novel, ‘Le Roman de la Momie’. Throughout the Victorian Era, Europe was fascinated by the culture of ancient Egypt. There has been a revival of this ballet so it is possible to see some film:

Mikhail Mordkin in the ballet “The Pharoah’s Daughter”, St. Petersburg, 1900.

The clip loses the sound halfway through- but watch the foot work anyway. One can see the Bournonville influence. The male dancer is excellent. The choreography is unusual in the extent to which it uses variations of battement foot work. It incorporates the battements into turns as well. The coup de pied position is frequently used, as well as variations of ronde de jambe en l’air. Pierre Lacotte recreated a version for the Bolshoi in 2000. This is what you basically see in the clips. His version included only three reconstructed dances from the Petipa original, from the Grand Pas d’action Act II. The Sergeyev Collection housed with the Harvard University Theater Collection contains choreographic notation from Petipa’s 1898 production for Mathilde Kschessinskaya. Petipa’s notation is for the principal roles, while the choreography for the corps de ballet and the action sequences is only vaguely expressed.

‘The Pharaoh’s Daughter PDD (variation, coda of Act II) Comment: The dancers are Svetlana Zakharova and Serguei Filin.

Premier of ‘Pharoah’s Daughter- Grand pas des fleuves-1/2’

Pharoah’s Daughter-Osipova’  ‘Natalia Osipova, Dmitri Gudanov-La Fille du Pharaon’.

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