Paquita is a ballet in two acts and three scenes, with libretto by Joseph Mazilier and Paul Foucher. Originally choreographed by Joseph Mazilier to the music of Edouard Deldevez. First presented by at the Salle Le Peletier by the Paris Opera Ballet on 1 April 1846. The work was retained in the repertory of the Opéra until 1851.
In 1847, Paquita was staged for the first time in Russia for the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg by Marius Petipa and Pierre-Frédéric Malevergne, being the first work ever staged by Petipa in Russia. In 1881 Petipa produced a revival of the ballet for which he added new pieces specially composed by Ludwig Minkus. This included the Pas de trois (a.k.a. the Minkus Pas de trois or Paquita Pas de trois) for the first act, and the Paquita Grand pas classique and the Mazurka des enfants (Children’s mazurka) for the last act. Petipa’s version of Paquita was retained in the repertory of the Mariinsky Theatre until 1926.
Marius Petipa’s 1881 additions for Paquita survived long after the full-length ballet left the stage. Today these pieces, particularly the Pas Grand pas classique, are major cornerstones of the traditional classical ballet repertory, and have been staged by ballet companies throughout the world.
In 2001, the Ballet Master Pierre Lacotte produced a revival of full-length, two act Paquita for the Paris Opera Ballet. Although Lacotte re-choreographed most of the ballet himself, he restored Joseph Mazilier’s original mime sequences and mise-en-scène, as well as Marius Petipa’s 1881 additions.