The ballet divertissement Pas de Quatre was choreographed by Jules Perrot in 1845 to music composed by Cesare Pugni, commissioned by Her Majesty’s Theatre in London. It was first seen on 12 July 1845 and was an immediate hit, mainly because it brought together some of the most famous ballerinas of the time: Carlotta Grisi, Fanny Cerrito, and Marie Taglioni. The great Romantic ballerina, Fanny Elssler didn’t wish to take part, so the young Lucile Grahn was the fourth dancer.
There are many, many Italian dancers scattered around companies throughout the world. Some are in the corps de ballet, others are principal dancers, but all continue the tradition that made Italian dancers some of the most famous of all. Even leaving the men aside, we have Pierina Legnani (noted as ‘maybe’ being the first to […]
After an 11-year absence, the Bolshoi Ballet returns to Milan. In 2007, the company came with La Fille du Pharaon and The Bright Stream. From 7 to 13 September they will be at La Scala with La Bayadère in the Grigorovich production, and Jean-Christophe Maillot’s The Taming of the Shrew. Svetlana Zakharova and Denis Rodkin, […]
Q&A When did you first go to the theatre? To see Rigoletto at the Teatro Comunale in Florence on 10 October 1939 for my tenth birthday, with Gino Bechi, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Lina Aimaro and the young Giulietta Simionato as Madelena. Why did you want to work in the theatre? In Florence we give out presents for the Epiphany. When I was six […]
Italians are great dancers, but they don’t get much opportunity to demonstrate that in their homeland. The history of ballet is adorned with Italian talent: Giuseppina Bozzacchi was the first Swanhilda in Coppélia; three dazzling stars, Carlotta Grisi, Fanny Cerrito, and Marie Taglioni (also the first Sylphide) were celebrated by Perrot in his Pas de Quattre; Pierina Legnani was named Prima Ballerina Assoluta by Petipa […]
In 1987 a two-part television programme called The Ballerinas featured Carla Fracci, with some of the top male dancers of the period, in a series of reconstructions putting various ballets and their interpretors in an historical context. Fracci was an amazingly youthful 51 when she danced these extracts. Dance Magazine critic John Gruen wrote: […]
Milan’s newspaper, the most influential Italian paper, Il Corriere della Sera, almost ignored La Raymonda at La Scala last week, with Valeria Crippa’s short article dismissing it quickly. Here the past is preserved in mothballs, the brilliant Marius Petipa’s choreographic style appears decrepit, and dull scenery frames an ageing corps, despite the freshness of the students of the school. Others however looked a little closer. Elsa […]