La Fille mal gardée

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Anna Pawlowa and Nikolai Legat in La Fille mal gardée , around 1921

La Fille mal gardée ( The poorly cared for daughter ) is one of the oldest classical ballets and one of the few from this period that is still in the repertoire of the great ballet companies .

Piece history

It premiered on July 1, 1789 in the Grand Théâtre of Bordeaux under the title Le Ballet de la paille, ou il n'est qu'un pas, du mal au bien ( The Straw Ballet or From Bad to Good It's Just One Step ) . Author, choreographer and dancer was Jean Dauberval , who was ballet master in Bordeaux at the time .

The discipline by Pierre Antoine Baudouin, 1789

Dauberval was inspired for this ballet by the painting Young girl scolded by his mother by Pierre-Antoine Baudouin from 1764, in which, next to the girl and the mother in the background, her lover can be seen stealing away. La Fille mal gardée is the first ballet in which a realistic plot is brought onto the stage and no gods or mythological beings play a role anymore.

The premiere in Bordeaux was followed on April 30, 1791 by a performance in the Pantheon Theater in London , now under its current title, and in the next ten years further performance almost everywhere in Europe, except in Paris , where a production at the Porte did not take place until 1803 Saint-Martin was held by Eugène Hus . In 1828 the Paris Opera took La Fille mal gardée into its repertoire, now under the ballet master Jean-Pierre Aumer , a pupil of Dauberval, for which he had the original music revised by Ferdinand Hérold . In 1854 the ballet was removed from the Parisian repertoire and was then forgotten in France. In Russia, however, Charles Didelot , who had danced the ballet in London, worked as a ballet master at the Mariinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg , and who brought it to the stage with Fanny Elssler in 1848. The piece was performed in 1885 in the version by Marius Petipa with the score shortened by Peter Ludwig Hertel in 1864 for Paul Taglioni and with the support of Lev Ivanov under the title La Précaution inutile ( Die in vain caution ) with Virginia Zucchi in the lead role - a version , on which Bronislava Nijinska relied when she brought the play to the Ballet Theater in New York in 1940 .

For the French-speaking world, it was Joseph Lazzini who brought the ballet back to the stage in 1954 after a hundred years, in Liège and in a version that was danced in 1962 by Rosella Hightower and Nureyev in Marseille . Heinz Spoerli brought La Fille mal gardée back to the capital in 1981 on behalf of the Paris Opera. In 1993 the Ballet du Rhin from Mulhouse showed a reconstruction of the original performance by Jean Dauberval.

Other well-known versions are:


  • Lise, a young woman
  • Colin, her lover
  • Marceline, Lise's mother, a wealthy farmer
  • Michaud, a rich miller
  • Nicaise, his son
  • The gardener
  • The governess
  • The Head of House
  • The notary


First picture

In the yard. Marceline wants to marry her daughter Lise to the son of the miller Michaud. Lise, on the other hand, has chosen Colin, a farmer in the service of her mother, and tried to bypass her will. Marceline, on the other hand, prevents the two of them from pursuing their own plans through work, and calls Michaud over to stop her daughter's game of hide-and-seek and make the wedding party.

Second picture

On the field. Lise and Colin have fled, Marceline finds them, Michaud and his entire entourage in tow, and announces the engagement. A thunderstorm comes up, Colin and Lise can flee again at short notice, but are brought back again.

Third picture

In the house. Marceline keeps Lise under lock and key. Colin manages to slip into the house under the protection of the other farmers who are bringing in the sheaves saved from the rain. Marceline goes into the village, comes back earlier than expected with a wedding dress that Lise is supposed to try on while Colin hides in the barn. Michaud and the notary join them, Marceline quickly and unconsciously locks Lise, who is still resisting the wedding, with Colin in the barn - where she discovers the two of them wrapped in the hay after completing the formalities: “The girl and her affectionate friend were just there , were just about ... Nothing to say is enough said ... When the mother came in time, came in time ... You can say that. ”( Denis Diderot , in Salon de 1765 to Baudoin's picture) The wedding has ended 'Michaud now refuses to fulfill the agreement, whereupon Marceline agrees to the wedding of Lise and Colin.

Fourth picture

The engagement of Lise and Colin is celebrated - and a marriage between Marceline and Michaud is looming.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Anna Kisselgoff: A French Ballet Classic, Rendered With the Spirit of Its Origins. Review / Dance. New York Times, March 22, 1992, accessed April 24, 2015 .
  2. see en: La fille mal gardée # The Ballet du Rhin's revival of the 1789 original (English language Wikipedia)
  3. La fille mal Gardée ( Memento of the original dated August 31, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Ballet Nacional de Cuba @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. see en: La fille mal gardée (Ashton)

Web links

Commons : La Fille mal gardée  - Collection of images, videos and audio files