Le diable à quatre (ballet)

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Frontispiece from a piano reduction of pieces taken from the Mazilier/Adam Le diable à quatre. 1845. The frontispiece depicts, from left to right - Lucien Petipa, Jean Coralli, Carlotta Grisi, Maria Mazilier, and Joseph Mazilier.

Le diable à quatre (aka The Devil to Pay) is a ballet in 2 acts / 3 scenes (or three acts[1]), with choreography by Joseph Mazilier and music by Adolphe Adam, libretto by Adolphe de Leuven, first presented by the Ballet of the Académie Royale de Musique on August 11, 1845. Principal dancers were Carlotta Grisi (as Mazourka) and Lucien Petipa (as Count Polinski).


  • Revival by Marius Petipa for the Imperial Ballet under the title La femme capricieuse, with Ludwig Minkus revising Adam's score in Pugni's 1850 revision. First presented on January 23/February 4, 1885 at the Imperial Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. For this revival Petipa changed the name of the principal Ballerina's role from Mazourka to Countess Berta. Principal dancers - Eugeniya Sokolova (as Mazourka), Mariia Gorshenkova (as the Basket Maker wife), and Pavel Gerdt (as Count Polinski).


  • The male variation from the famous Paquita pas de trois (aka Minkus pas de trois) is set to a variation from Adam's score for Le diable à quatre.
  • The male variation taken from the famous Flower Festival in Genzano pas de deux is set to a variation from Adam's score for Le diable à quatre.



  • Richard Bonynge conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in a recording of an 1850 edition of Adolphe Adam's score for Le diable à quatre as staged in Beriln. The recording was released on the label Decca on both CD and LP.