Music by John Field
Music arranged by John Wilson
Choreography by Robert Joffrey
Costumes adapted from an 1846 English dance print
World Premiere: Robert Joffrey Ballet, Kaufmann Concert Hall, New York,
Original Cast: Lillian Wellein, Barbara Ann Gray, Jacquetta Kieth, Michael
ABT Premiere: Ballet Theatre Workshop, Phoenix Theatre, New York, 5/7/56
Cast: Lupe Serrano (Taglioni), Ruth Ann Koesun (Graham), Sonia Arova
(Cerrito), Erik Bruhn (Saint-Leon)
Pas des Déesses is a gentle satire on the rivalries of
three ranking ballerinas of the Romantic age -- Lucile Grahn, Fanny
Cerrito, and Marie Taglioni -- and their cavalier, Arthur Saint-Léon,
who refuses to choose among them. Inspired by a lithograph from the
early 19th Century by Jacques Bouvier, the ballet uses nocturnes, rondos,
and waltzes by John Field, the Irish piano virtuoso who originated the
name and style of the Nocturne. The ballet is choreographed as a period
piece and shows the languorous Grahn, the darting Cerrito, and the floating
Taglioni as partnered by the gallant Saint-Léon.
After its premiere in New York in 1954, Robert Joffrey staged the work
for Englands Ballet Rambert in 1955, and, in 1956, for an American
Ballet Theatre workshop. Ballet Rambert performed the ballet on its
1957 tour of China making it the first American ballet to be seen behind
the Bamboo Curtain. Pas des Déesses was on the first program
presented by The Joffrey Ballet at the companys debut in 1956
in Frostburg, Maryland.
Pas des Déesses was given its Company Premiere by Ballet
Theatre Workshop at the Phoenix Theatre, New York on May 7, 1956, danced
by Lupe Serrano (Taglioni), Ruth Ann Koesun (Graham), Sonia Arova (Cerrito),
and Erik Bruhn (Saint Léon).
Pas des Déesses received its World Premiere on An Evening
of Robert Joffrey Ballets by Robert Joffrey at the 92nd Street YM-YWHA
Kaufmann Concert Hall, New York on May 29, 1954, danced by Lillian Wellein
(Marie Taglioni), Barbara Ann Gray (Lucile Grahn), Jacquetta Keith (Fanny
Cerrito), and Michael Lland (Arthur Saint-Léon).
Pas des Déesses was premiered by The Joffrey Ballet on
October 2, 1956 at the State Teachers College, Frostburg, Maryland,
danced by Glen Tetley (Arthur Saint-Léon), Diane Consoer (Lucile
Grahn), Brunilda Ruiz (Fanny Cerrito), and Beatrice Tompkins (Marie
Taglioni). This production of Pas des Déesses received
its revival premiere on October 22, 1999 at City Center, New York, danced
by Alessandra Ferri, Yan Chen, Amanda McKerrow, and Julio Bocca.