HomeFrom Bordeaux to Saint Petersburg, Marius Petipa (1818-1910) and the "Russian" Ballet

From Bordeaux to Saint Petersburg, Marius Petipa (1818-1910) and the "Russian" Ballet

De Bordeaux à Saint-Pétersbourg, Marius Petipa (1818-1910) et le ballet « russe »

Из Бордо в Санкт-Петербург, Мариус Петипа (1818-1910) и "русский балет"

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Published on Wednesday, July 02, 2014 by João Fernandes

Summary

The great academic ballet, known as « Russian ballet », is the product of a historical process initiated in 18th century in Russia and completed in the second part of 19th century by Victor-Marius-Alphonse Petipa (1818-1910), principal ballet master of the Saint Petersburg Imperial Theatres from 1869 to his death. The Bordeaux symposium will launch a wide range of events which will culminate in 2018 in Marseilles, Marius Petipa‘s hometown, where the bicentenary of his birth will be celebrated. 

Announcement

Argument

The great academic ballet, known as « Russian ballet », is the product of a historical process initiated in 18th century in Russia and completed in the second part of 19th century by Victor-Marius-Alphonse Petipa (1818-1910), principal ballet master of the Saint Petersburg Imperial Theatres from 1869 to his death. 

Born in Marseilles in a family of dancers and actors, Marius Petipa, after short-term contracts in several theatres, including Bordeaux Grand Theatre, pursued a more than 50 years long carreer in Russia, when he became « Marius Ivanovitch ». He layed down the rules of the great academic ballet and left for posterity over 60 creations, among which the most famous are still presented on stages all around the world.

Petipa’s name has become a synonym of classical ballet. His work has been denigrated, parodied, or reinterpreted ; however, its meaning remains central in the reflection of contemporary choreographers, as we can see from young South African choreographer Dada Masilo’s recent new version of Swan Lake. Moreover, Petipa’s work still fosters controversies as evidenced by the reconstructions of his ballets by S.G. Vikharev at the Mariinsky theatre or Teatro alla Scala, and by Iu. P. Burlaka at the Bolchoï. Given the world-famous name of Petitpa one might expect his œuvre, as a common set of fundamental values for international choreographic culture, to be widely known. Actually, knowledge of it is limited (only a few ballets among over 60 that Petipa left for posterity are still performed) and remains very unequal across countries. In Petipa’s own country no book whatsover, not even a,biography has been devoted to the great ballet master. Not until the 1980s were his works revived, thanks to Rudolf Nureev’s reconstructions at Paris National Opera.

Because of the major role played by Petipa in the history of classical ballet, of dance in general and of the cultural exchanges between France and Russia, there is ample reason for an overall study of his work, even more so with the prospect of the celebration of the bicentenary of his birth in the year 2018.

This symposium intends to bring forward the latest research findings on Petipa’s life and creation, to provide the fullest possible overview of his ballets and to clarify his role in the history of the musical theatre and his meaning for today’s arts of dance and choreography.

The Bordeaux symposium will launch a wide range of events which will culminate in 2018 in Marseilles, Marius Petipa‘s hometown, where the bicentenary of his birth will be celebrated.

Main themes

The 2015 symposium will provide an update of Petitpa scholarship and will be structured around a number of clearly defined scientific objectives:

Objective 1. Review of the situation of ballet in France and Russia around 1840.

  • Ballet on French stage and at Bordeaux Grand Theatre
  • Origins of ballet in Russia and adaptation of a Western genre
  • French choreographers in the Russian Empire : Jean-Baptiste Landé, Charles Le Picq, Charles Didelot, Alexis-Scipion Blache, Auguste Poireau, Arthur de Saint-Léon, Jules Perrot…
  • Ballet repertoire, dramaturgy, music, choreography, performers
  • Male and female roles in ballet : libretti, choreography, organization

Objective 2. Portrait of Marius Petipa as a performer and as a creator.

  • The Petipa family, a dynasty of dancers and actors
  • Petipa as a performer : his carreer and his roles through the testimonies of his contemporaries
  • Petipa’s ballets: study of the libretti, stage production (set decoration, costume design), music (composers : Cesare Pugni, Riccardo Drigo, Tchaikovsky, Alexander Glazunov…) ; « Petipa’s style »
  • Ballet rewritings by Marius Petipa (from Mazilier, Perrot, Dauberval, etc.)

Objective 3. The institution of ballet in Russia in Petipa’s time

  • The official role of ballet in the Imperial Theatres. The Saint Petersburg and Moscow ballet companies and their role in Russian cultural life. The ballet in other theatres of the Russian Empire.
  • Dance teaching in Petipa’s time. The Saint Petersburg Ballet School.
  • Petipa in the Imperial Theatres. His relations with directors.
  • Petipa’s performers. The social status of (male and female) dancers in Petipa’s time.

Objective 4. Petipa’s international influence and legacy in the Russian empire, in Soviet Union and all around the world

  • Petipa and France. Petipa at the Opéra de Paris
  • From Petipa to the « Ballets Russes ». From Petipa to the Soviet ballet
  • Petipa’s legacy in the world
  • Petipa’s ballets as a source of inspiration for contemporary choreographers 

Submissions

The working languages at the symposium will be French, English, and Russian. To submit a proposal please send an abstract and a short biography by e-mail no later than

15th November, 2014

to : <mladamsha@gmail.com> All proposals will be reviewed by an international selection committee. Notification of acceptance will be sent by December 15th, 2014.

Please note that no more than 25 papers will be accepted for the Bordeaux symposium. Among the remaining proposals some may be selected for a second symposium which will take place in Marseilles in 2018. Practical details and more information about travel grants will follow.

Coordinator : Pascale Melani, professeur à l’université Bordeaux-Montaigne (EA 4593 CLARE-ARTES), E-mail: <pascale.melani@u-bordeaux-montaigne.fr> 

Scientific committee

  • Hélène Laplace-Claverie, professeur à l’UPPA (Pau, France)
  • Walter Zidaric, professeur à l’université de Nantes (France)
  • Jean-Marie Jacono, maître de conférences à l’université d’Aix-Marseille (France)
  • Sergey Konaev, senior lecturer at the National Institute of Arts, Moscow (Russia)
  • Anne Swartz, professor at Baruch College (CUNY, USA)
  • Claudia Jeschke, Univ.-Prof. Dr., Universität Salzburg (Austria) Michaela Böhmig, professore all’università degli studi di Napoli, L’Orientale (Italy)
  • Pascale Melani, professeur à l’université Bordeaux-Montaigne (France)

Places

  • Salon Gérard Boireau - Grand Théâtre, Place de la Comédie
    Bordeaux, France (33)

Date(s)

  • Saturday, November 15, 2014

Keywords

  • ballet, danse, Russie, transfert culturel, spectacle, chorégraphie

Contact(s)

  • Pascale Melani
    courriel : pascale [dot] melani [at] u-bordeaux-montaigne [dot] fr
  • Pierre Katuszewski
    courriel : pierre [dot] katuszewski [at] u-bordeaux-montaigne [dot] fr

Information source

  • Pascale Melani
    courriel : pascale [dot] melani [at] u-bordeaux-montaigne [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« From Bordeaux to Saint Petersburg, Marius Petipa (1818-1910) and the "Russian" Ballet », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, July 02, 2014, https://calenda.org/288866

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