La Gaïte Parisienne

Premiered on the 5 April 1938, on the stage of the Monte-Carlo Opera, Gaîté Parisienne was choreographed by Leonide Massine, who had collaborated with the Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo since 1932. This lively and colourful divertissement was one of the most popular ballets by the Russian choreographer, who appeared in it himself, with Mia Slavenska, Nina Tarankanova, Frederic Franklin and Igor Youskevitch at his sides. When presented at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, in 1939, Gaîté Parisienne scored a veritable triumph.
Evoking the nightlife of gay Paris at the turn of the century, the action centres around the terrace of a fashionable restaurant, the "Belle Epoque". The ballet opens on a group of waiters, who banter with the cleaning girls as they arrange their tables. A glove seller and a flower girl, courted in turn by an Austrian baron, an officer, and a rich Peruvian, are the stars of the evening. The party ends with a joyous farandole, danced by the fashionable La Lionne, the ladies of easy virtue, Les Cocodettes, the soldiers and the cancan dancers. Only the Peruvian is left on the outskirts, ignored by all despite his desire to join in the fun. Massine, who danced this role, immortalised it by his talents as an actor-dancer.


Choreography: Léonide Massine
Re-staged by: Lorca Massine assisted by Suzanna della Pietra
Re-staged by : Gérard Le Bours
Livret : Etienne De Beaumont
Music: Jacques Offenbach
Scenography and costumes : Raymonda Gaëtani
Sets created by the Atelier Walter and Stefano Pace Stoa (Rome)
Costumes created by the workshop of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo under the direction of Bernadette Mouza - Chausseur Anditi (Rome)
Lighting : Bertrand Grandguillot