Pierre Lacotte: 4 April 1932 – 10 April 2023
The Teatro alla Scala and its ballet company, the intendant Dominque Meyer and the ballet director Manuel Legris, join the mourning dance world for the loss of Pierre Lacotte, who died yesterday, 10 April 2023, a great dancer and choreographer, a central figure in 20th-century dance, considered a specialist in the reconstruction of ballets from the Romantic repertoire. His first collaboration with La Scala dates back to 1951, as the interpreter of the pas d'action from The Sleeping Beauty – divertissement by Serge Lifar with the Paris Opera Ballet, which was a guest at our theatre.
The La Scala Ballet had the honour of presenting, at the opening of the 2005-2006 season, his famous reconstruction of La Sylphide, while in 2007 it was the Bolshoi Ballet, guests of the Teatro alla Scala at the Arcimboldi Theatre in Milan, that presented, among the various titles on the programme, for the first time in Italy La Fille du Pharaon, directed and choreographed by Pierre Lacotte based on the ballet of the same name by Marius Petipa (1862).
On the occasion of the presentation of La Sylphide at La Scala, Pierre Lacotte attended the rehearsals, participated in encounters with the public, and wrote a programme note, testifying his passion and enthusiasm.
A deep bond unites ballet director Manuel Legris with Pierre Lacotte, an important figure who has been present throughout the development of his artistic life and career from his beginnings at the Paris Opéra as professeur, then as choreographer and reconstructor, for whom Legris was one of the interpreters of choice for titles performed all over the world (in his Sylphide in 1989, Legris danced as a guest at La Scala alongside Monique Loudières and the Tokyo Ballet) and in creations such as Paquita. It is a bond that has never been broken and in fact the next edition of the Fracci Gala in June, devised by Legris, will see the pas de deux from the second act of Le Papillon. It was the only ballet choreographed by Maria Taglioni, which Lacotte had reconstructed for the Paris Opera in 1976, and was first presented at La Scala in 1977 as part of “Serata a tre” with, alongside James Urbain, Carla Fracci herself.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.