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Paquita ("Pakhita") [Leningrad, 1960s]

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Film Identifier: F.2011-05-0127
Run Time
0h 23m 20s
Date Produced
This Russian film represents a brief collection of excerpts from Marius Petipa's "Paquita" (spelled "Pakhita" in this version), performed by dancers of the Maly Opera Theatre.  Paquita was revived for the Maly Opera Theatre in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) by Konstantin Boyarski in 1957, so this film was likely produced in the early 1960s. 
The film opens with a series of title credits: "A Lenfilm Studios Production, Leningrad;" "Classical Dances from the Ballet Pakhita, Music by A. Minkus, Staged by M. Petipa;" "Released by Sovexportfilm."  It then cuts to a shot of a musical score, followed by a shot of plain white paper, on which an arm draws sets for a stage.  The film then fades to the actual set, where a row of four ballerinas enters and performs an ensemble dance.  They are soon joined by four more, and the two sets pose in a 'V' onstage; the camera then follows two sets of two dancers who enter the stage after them.  Finally, a soloist enters at center and begins her dance while the rest enter a formation behind her; they join her for an ensemble dance to complete the segment.

The film then fades back to the plain notebook paper, where the hand draws a scratch-out as if to signify a changed scene.  The film fades back to the stage, where a male soloist enters to join the female soloist.  As they begin a pas de deux, the rest form a line behind them and perform an ensemble dance.  Next, they seat themselves in a semicircle around the couple and the camera zooms in on the woman as she is lifted above the man's shoulders and moves through different port de bras positions.  They then move to the sides while the couple continues their pas de deux at center.

The film once again fades to the plain white paper on which the hand draws loops, once again signifying a new scene.  It then fades back to the stage where a group of four dancers once again perform an ensemble dance.  When they complete it, the film cuts to another group of four who also dance together.  As they exit, a group of two dancers enters with pas de chats; next, the film cuts to a shot of a long row of dancers entering and dancing a quick petite allegro.  Next, the camera cuts to a close-up of the female soloist and pulls back to follow her as she dances, alone onstage.  During this solo, the film fades to a different solo segment: a petite allegro, followed by another: a grand allegro.  When the camera cuts again, another female soloist enters and performs her own dance; afterwards, the film fades to the male soloist, who does the same. 

Then the film fades back to the blank white paper, where the hand this time draws a different scribble to signify the next scene.  The large row of dancers returns and performs a lively ensemble dance.  They once again split in half and move to the sides, allowing a group of four to enter and dance at center.  Once they, too, move aside, a female soloist enters, followed by a second.  Finally, the primary female soloist is viewed from between those standing posed; she performs a long series of fouettés.  Once these are complete, the camera cuts to show the entrance of the male soloist.  

After his dance, it cuts again to a group of four female dancers, followed by the primary female soloist.  She then runs to the back of the stage to greet her male companion and the two dance a final pas de deux.  The camera cuts back to the large group of dancers, behind whom the couple reenters for a very brief finale.  Once all strike a final pose, they disappear and the stage is once again empty.

The film then cuts to closing credits: "Featuring Soloists of the State Academic Mali Opera House in Leningrad;" "G. Pirozhnaya, A. Khamzin, G. Polyukh, G. Pokrishkina, N. Yananis, S. Fadeyeva, N. Sakhnovskaya, Y. Yermolova and the corps-de-ballet  dances revived by K. Boyarsky;" "Orchestra of the Mali Opera House, Conductor Y. Kornblit;" "THE END."  The film ends there.
Main Credits
Lenfilm Studios (is production company)
Additional Credit
Boyarski, Konstantin (is choreographer)
Kornblit, Y. (music)
Malevergne, Pierre Frédéric (is choreographer)
Minkus, Ludwig (is composer)
Petipa, Marius (is choreographer)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Sakhnovskaya, Natalia (is performer)
Pokrishkina, Galina (is performer)
Khamzin, Adol (is performer)
Pirozhnaya, Galina Nikolaevna (is performer)
Yananis, Natalia Stanislavovna (is performer)
Polyukh, G. (is performer)
Fadeyeva, S. (is performer)
Yermolova, Y. (is performer)
Related Place
St. Petersburg (production location of)