Paquita Ballet

Audience members of all ages will be entertained with a magnificent showcase of classical technique, dazzling tutus and non-stop dynamic dancing!


Paquita is the creation of French composer Édouard Deldevez and Paris Opéra Ballet Master Joseph Mazilier. It was first presented at the Salle Le Peletier by the Paris Opera Ballet on 1 April 1846 and was retained in the repertory of the Opéra until 1851.  

The heroine is the young Romani girl, Paquita. She doesn't know that she is really of noble birth, having been abducted by Romani people when she was an infant. She saves the life of a young French officer, Lucien d'Hervilly, the target of a Spanish governor who plots to have him killed by Iñigo, a Roma chief.   By way of a medallion she discovers that she is of noble birth, being in fact the cousin of Lucien. As such, she and the Officer are able to get married.  The suite celebrates Paquita and her love Lucien's wedding day.

Act II, Paquita
Wedding Celebration

Paquita was original performed by the Paris Opera Ballet in 1846
as a romantic ballet in two acts and three scenes. In 1881, Petipa produced
a revival of the ballet with three acts including the famous Act III wedding.
Today, Paquita is rarely performed as a full story ballet. Some modern
productions have reconstructed (as far as possible) the original ballet and
story, although this is rare. Today these pieces, particularly the Grand pas,
Pas de trois and the Children’s Mazurka are major cornerstones of the
traditional classical ballet repertory. They have been staged by ballet
companies throughout the world as part of the grand wedding celebration. The full length story takes place in Spain during the occupation of Napoleon's army. The heroine is the young Gypsy girl, Paquita. She was abducted by Gypsies when she was an infant and is truly of noble bloodline. She saves the life of a young French officer, Lucien d'Hervilly. Paquita and Lucien fall in love. Lucien and Paquita’s marriage is given a blessing when Paquita’s family line is revealed.

The wedding scene opens with a processional of children entertaining the
wedding guests through traditional Mazurka dance. Bridesmaids, noblemen,
Lucien and Paquita perform an array of dances. The wedding party elegantly
leap and spin across the stage in unison. Next come a series of solos by the
bridesmaids, each completely different in speed, steps, and mood. Paquita
and Lucien return for their own solos. The music speeds up with a glittering
showcase of classical technique, dazzling tutus, and non-stop virtuosic
jumps and turns. The wedding scene commences with a grand tableaux
vivant (living portrait).