The Blue Dahlia

Ballet fantastique in two acts
Music by Cesare Pugni

World Première
12th May [O.S. 30th April] 1860
Imperial Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre, Saint Petersburg

Original 1860 Cast
The Blue Dahlia
Maria Surovshchikova-Petipa

Première of Petipa’s revival
Imperial Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre

Original 1875 Cast
The Blue Dahlia
Marie Petipa

By the mysterious will of fate, a blue dahlia has grown in the flowerbed of the fortunate gardener Gauthier and it is being guarded by a fantastic spirit, the Spirit of the Bloom in the form of a beautiful woman, on account of whom the gardener forgets everything, even his betrothed, the pretty Cecilia. When a flower competition is announced, Gauthier enters with his rare plant and is awarded first prize, but Count Harold insists on having the flower in exchange for the purse of gold. The gardener objects and as he tries to defend his dahlia, he breaks the stem in two. The dahlia has perished and together with it, the beautiful embodiment of the Spirit of the Bloom dies in Gauthier’s arms.

Maria Surovshchikova-Petipa as the Blue Dahlia (1860)
Marie Petipa as the Blue Dahlia (1875)