The Pharaoh’s Daughter

January 26, 2012 at 9:17 am | Posted in Ballet Review, DVD Review | Leave a comment
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I found this DVD in my regular library, and saw that it was a ballet by Pierre Lacotte d’apres Marius Petipa. "Petipa?" I thought, "that's not I know", so I got out.

It turns out to be a 'lost' work, carefully reconstructed by Pierre Lacotte, and danced by the Bolshoi Ballet in 2004.

Svetlana Zakharova is the Princess Aspicia – the Pharaoh’s daughter. Serguei Filin is Taor, Aspicia’s eventual husband. Maria Aleksandrova is Ramze – Aspicia’s slave.

The ballet revolves around these three characters. Aspicia loves Taor, but must marry the King of Nubia to seal a treaty. So Aspicia and Toar run away. They are eventually caught, but Aspicia’s love eventually convinces the Pharaoh to let her marry Taor.

Zakharova, Filin, and Aleksandrova and the soloist are great. The corp are also very good – never have a I seen an entire corp execute grand jetes to the same high standard and in time to each other and to the music.

It is an excellent ballet, it is an early work of Petipa’s and the roots of his later works can be seen. Though it is hard to tell if Lacotte has been influenced by the later better known (and better preserved) works. The extra material on the DVD contains an interview with Lacotte, describing him tracking down dancers taught by dancers who had worked with Petipa (or taught by those who had); Lacotte also located collections of notes and manuscripts from people whose family members were involved with Petipa’s circle.

The story is straight forward and easy to follow, and the dancing superb.

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