Without him there would be no Swan Lake, no La Bayadère and no Nutcracker ballets. Indeed, without him there would be no romantic era of ballet at all.
Marius Petipa was a ballet dancer, a teacher, a choreographer and a great creative genius.
The world of ballet owes so much to him and, as a balletomane, I owe a lot to him, too.
So today, on his birthday, I would like to dedicate an excerpt from a beautiful poem called “On Imagination” to him.
What an imagination he must have had and what a testament he is to the wonderful things we can each create if we let our imaginations run wild (he created over 50 ballets in his lifetime!).
On Imagination by Phillis Wheatley
Such is thy pow’r, nor are thine orders vain,
O thou the leader of the mental train:
In full perfection all thy works are wrought,
And thine the sceptre o’er the realms of thought.
Before thy throne the subject-passions bow,
Of subject-passions sov’reign ruler thou;
At thy command joy rushes on the heart,
And through the glowing veins the spirits dart.
Happy birthday Marius!