Sketches by Pavel Gerdt released by the Bolshoi Theatre Museum

Sketches by Pavel Gerdt for the Adagio of the Wedding Pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty

In March 2018, the Bolshoi Theatre Museum released notation scores for Petipa’s ballets, among which were sketches by Pavel Gerdt, who often made sketches of certain pas from his repertoire for memory purposes. Among his sketches were ones for the adagio of the Wedding Pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty, The Awakening of Flora and the adagio from the Paquita Grand Pas Classique. In light of this release, Alexei Ratmansky used Gerdt’s sketches for the adagio of the Wedding Pas de deux to reconstruct what Gerdt had recorded, thereby changing his reconstruction of the adagio recorded in the Sergeyev Collection.

The staging of the adagio sketched by Gerdt differs in some ways from the notated version in the Sergeyev Collection. The notation scores by Sergeyev for The Sleeping Beauty are dated 1903-1906 and, according to Moscow archivist Sergey Konaev, Gerdt’s sketches are dated in the 1890s. It is possible that what Gerdt recorded is the original 1890 adagio and the likely reason for why it differs from what is recorded in the Sergeyev Collection could be that Petipa made alterations to the adagio when Nikolai Legat succeeded Gerdt in the role of Prince Desire. Legat was performing the role by 1903 and his name is written in the notation scores for the Wedding Pas de deux that are in the Sergeyev Collection, meaning that he was dancing the role of the Prince when the pas de deux was notated.

A video of Ratmansky’s reconstruction of the Wedding Pas de deux with the reconstruction of Gerdt’s sketches can be viewed on our videos page

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