Faust ballets

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Marie Taglioni in her brother Paul Taglioni's ballet Satanella oder Metamorphosen

Faust ballets are a set of ballets, choreographed between the 18th and 20th centuries, based on the legend of Faust. As early as 1723, London-based John Rich put on a Faust-inspired ballet pantomime called The Necromancer at the Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre. In the 19th century several productions took Faust as their subject matter including August Bournonville's 1832 production Faust for the Royal Danish Ballet.[1]

In 1833, Andre Deshayes' Faust premiered in London with music by Adolphe Adam.[2] Fanny Elssler danced the role of Gretchen in Jules Perrot's 1848 Milan production. In 1852 Paul Taglioni, brother of Maria Taglioni (the first ballerina to dance en pointe), choreographed Satanella oder Metamorphosen with music by composed by Peter Ludwig Hertel. A few years later, Julius Reisinger's Mephistophelia premiered in Hamburg and Meyer Lutz composed the score for Joseph Lanner's 1895 production.[3]

The trend continued into the 20th century with ballets created by Remislav Remislavsky, Heiner Luipart and female choreograpaher Nina Kirsanova based on an unstaged 19th century libretto Der Doktor Faust, written by Heinrich Heine. Romantic composer Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust was staged by French choreographer Maurice Béjart for the Paris Opera Ballet in 1964). Béjart's 1975 production Notre Faust was set to Bach's B minor Mass.[1] Béjart himself danced in Notre Faust at its New York City premiere in 1977.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Faust ballets". Oxford Reference. Retrieved 2018-04-29.
  2. ^ Kant, Marion (2007-06-07). The Cambridge Companion to Ballet. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-53986-9.
  3. ^ Carter, Alexandra (2017-11-28). Dance and Dancers in the Victorian and Edwardian Music Hall Ballet. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-351-16362-0.
  4. ^ New York Magazine. Retrieved 2018-04-29.