Les Ruses d’Amour, or The Trial of Damis

Ballet in one act
Music by Alexander Glazunov

World Première
30th January [O.S. 17th January] 1900
Imperial Theatre of the Hermitage, Saint Petersburg

Original 1900 Cast
Pavel Gerdt

Countess Isabella
Pierina Leganani

Damis comes to the home of Countess Lucinda, to whose daughter he is engaged, though he has never met her. Isabella, Damis’s fiancée, puts the young man to the test by swapping clothes with her servant. Damis honourably passes the test that Isabella has devised and receives her hand as his reward.

Olga Preobrazhenskaya as Countess Isabella and Pavel Gerdt as Damis (1900)
Olga Preobrazhenskaya as Countess Isabella and Pavel Gerdt as Damis (1900)

When Ivan Vsevolozhsky took up the directorship of the Imperial Theatre of the Hermitage in 1899, he commissioned Petipa to create three short ballets to be given for performance at the Hermitage Theatre that were to be attended by the Imperial Russian Court for the 1900-1901 season. Petipa began crafting scenarios for these ballets, drawing on a variety of differing subjects that were to be composed by Alexander Glazunov and Riccardo Drigo. The first ballet in this new trilogy was Les Ruses d’amour, or The Trial of Damis, which was inspired by the French rococo and composed by Glazunov.

Les Ruses d’amour premièred on the 30th January [O.S. 17th January] 1900 at the Hermitage Theatre, with the whole Imperial Court attending the performance.

Les Ruses d’amour was notated in the Stepanov notation method and is part of the Sergeyev Collection.

Sergei Legt and Marie Petipa in the dance "La Fricassee" (1900)
Sergei Legat and Marie Petipa in the dance “La Fricassée” (1900)


Related pages

Photo gallery



  • Meisner, Nadine (2019) Marius Petipa, The Emperor’s Ballet Master. New York City, US: Oxford University Press

Photos and images: © Dansmuseet, Stockholm © Большой театр России © Victoria and Albert Museum, London © Государственный академический Мариинский театр © CNCS/Pascal François © Bibliothèque nationale de France © Musée l’Opéra © Colette Masson/Roger-Viollet © АРБ имени А. Я. Вагановой © Михаил Логвинов © Михайловский театр, фотограф Стас Левшин. Партнёры проекта: СПбГБУК «Санкт-Петербургская государственная Театральная библиотека». ФГБОУВО «Академия русского балета имени А. Я. Вагановой» СПбГБУК «Михайловский театр». Михаил Логвинов, фотограф. Martine Kahane.