Marius Ivanovich Petipa (Russian: ??´???? ???´????? ??????´), born Victor Marius Alphonse Petipa (11 March 1818 – 14 July [O.S.
1 July] 1910), was a French ballet dancer, pedagogue and choreographer.
Petipa is one of the most influential ballet masters and choreographers in ballet history.
Marius Petipa is noted for his long career as Premier maître de ballet (First Ballet Master) of the St.
Petersburg Imperial Theatres, making him Ballet Master and principal choreographer of the Imperial Ballet (today known as the Mariinsky Ballet), a position he held from 1871 until 1903.
Petipa created over fifty ballets, some of which have survived in versions either faithful to, inspired by, or reconstructed from the original.
Among these works, he is most noted for The Pharaoh's Daughter (1862); Don Quixote (1869); La Bayadère (1877); Le Talisman (1889); The Sleeping Beauty (1890); The Nutcracker (choreographed jointly with Lev Ivanov) (1892); Le Réveil de Flore (1894); La Halte de cavalerie (1896); Raymonda (1898); Les Saisons (1900), and Les Millions d’Arlequin (a.k.a.
Petipa revived a substantial number of works created by other choreographers.
Many of these revivals would go on to become the definitive editions on which all subsequent productions would be based.
The most famous of these revivals were Le Corsaire, Giselle, La Esmeralda, Coppélia, La Fille Mal Gardée (with Lev Ivanov), The Little Humpbacked Horse and Swan Lake (with Lev Ivanov).Many pieces have survived in an independent form from Petipa's original works and revivals in spite of the fact that the full-length ballets that spawned them had disappeared from the Imperial Ballet's repertoire.
Many of these pieces have endured in versions either based on the original or choreographed anew by others – the Grand Pas classique, Pas de trois and Mazurka des enfants from Paquita; Le Carnaval de Venise Pas de deux from Satanella; The Talisman Pas de deux; La Esmeralda Pas de deux; the Diana and Actéon Pas de deux; La Halte de Cavalerie Pas de deux; the Don Quixote Pas de deux; La Fille Mal Gardée Pas de deux; and the Harlequinade Pas de deux.
All of the full-length works and individual pieces which have survived in active performance are considered to be cornerstones of the ballet repertory.