The Awakening of Flora or Le Réveil de Flore

The Awakening of Flora or Le Réveil de Flore

"The Awakening of Flora" (fr. "Le Réveil de Flore") (a.k.a "Flora's Awakening", though occasionally referred to incorrectly under such titles as "The Flower's Reawakening" or "The Reawakening of the Flowers") - "Anacreontic ballet" in 1 Act, with choreography by Marius Petipa and music by Riccardo Drigo. Libretto by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. Originally produced for the celebrations held at Peterhof in honor of the wedding of the Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna to the Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich.

First presented by the Imperial Ballet on OldStyleDate|9 August|1894|28 July, at the Imperial Theatre of Peterhof, Russia. "Principal Dancers -" Mathilde Kschessinskaya (as Flora), Anna Johansson (as Aurora), Olga Leonova (as Diana), Nikolai Legat (as Zephyr), Pavel Gerdt (as Apollo), Alexander Gorsky (as Aquilon), Vera Trefilova (as Amour/Cupid), and Claudia Kulichevskaya (as Hebé).

The work was given a second premiere for the general public on OldStyleDate|20 January|1895|2 January at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre with the same cast. This performance was given as a farewell benefit for the Ballerina Anna Johansson (daughter of the great teacher and dancer Christian Johansson), who after recovering from burn injuries was forced to retire from the stage.


*Revival by Askhat Galiamov for the West Australian Ballet under the title "Le Réveil de Flore". First presented at the Quarry Amphitheatre during the festival "Ballet at the Quarry" on February 14, 2006 in Perth, Australia. "Principal Dancers -" Louise Chalwell (as Flora).

*Reconstruction of the original 1894 production by Sergei Vikharev (choreography), Pavel Bubelnikov, Lyudmila Sveshnikova and Elena Belyaeva (Drigo's score). Choreography restored from the Stepanov Choreographic Notation of the Sergeyev Collection. First presented by the Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet during the "VII International Ballet Festival" on April 12, 2007 at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia. "Principal Dancers -" Eugenia Obratzova (as Flora), Xenia Ostreikovskaya (as Aurora), Svetlana Ivanova (as Diana), Vladimir Shkliarov (as Zephyr), Maxim Chaschegorov (as Apollo), Valeria Martynyuk (as Cupid), and Daria Sukhorukova (as Hebé).


*There exists complete choreographic notations of Petipa's original choreography for "The Awakening of Flora", which were made circa 1894 in the method of Stepanov Choreographic Notation by Vladimir Ivanovich Stepanov. Today these notations are part of the Sergeyev Collection, which is housed in the Harvard University Library Theatre Collection.

*Although many studies of ballet in Tsarist St. Petersburg credit this ballet as the work of both Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, it was choreographed solely by Petipa himself, with Ivanov serving as assistant in rehearsals.

*Riccardo Drigo's music was hailed as a masterwork of ballet music by the balletomanes and critics of the day, and was even formed into an orchestral suite. The "Adage" of the ballet's "Pas d’action", which includes a violin solo written especially for the great violinist Leopold Auer, became a popular concert and repertory piece in St. Petersburg at the turn of the 20th century.

*This ballet was a favorite with the Ballerinas of the Imperial St. Petersburg stage, among them Anna Pavlova, who included an abridgement of the work in her company's repertory.

*Conductor Richard Bonynge recorded an abridgement of Riccardo Drigo's score for "The Awakening of Flora" as performed by Anna Pavlova's company. The recording has been included on the Decca Records releases "Homage to Pavlova" (1972), and "Fête du Ballet" (2001).


"Tableau 1 —" It is night. Flora, the goddess of the flowers, is deep asleep with her nymphs; Diana, the goddess of night, guards their peace (no.1 "Danse de Diane"). With the approach of dawn, a freshness is felt in the air. Diana hides in the clouds.

"Tableau 2 —" Aquilon, the god of the northern wind, rushes stormily over the locale; his cold breath of wind awakens the sleepers and forces them to seek refuge in the foliage (no.2 "Entrée d’Aquilon"). The appearance of chilling dew brings Flora to despair (no.3 "La rosée"), and she implores Aurora, the goddess of the dawn, to help them (no.4 "Arrivée d’Aurore").

"Tableau 3 —" Aurora consoles Flora with tender caresses and announces that Apollo, the god of day, who will end their sufferings, is following behind her. Aurora, Flora, and her nymphs perform a waltz (no.5 "Valse").

"Tableau 4 —" With the appearance of resplendent Apollo, everything becomes animated. Smitten with the beauty of Flora, Apollo kisses her. At his call, Zephyr, the god of the gentle west wind, flies to his beloved Flora's embrace. He is followed by Cupid and her little amours (no.6 "Entrée d’Apollon, Zéphyre, Cupidon, et des amours"). "You must be his helpmate," Apollo tells her, "It is the will of the gods." Everyone is delighted; Cupid, amours, and nymphs rejoice over the lover's happiness. A classical "Pas d’action" is performed (no.7 "Pas d’action").

"Tableau 5 —" Mercury, messenger of the gods, announces Hebé, the goddess of youth, and Ganymede, cupbearer to the gods (no.8 "Arrivée de Mercure, Ganymède et Hébé"). They present Flora and Zephyr a cup of nectar and proclaim that Jupiter has given them eternal youth.

"Tableau 6 —" A procession. The chariot of Bacchus and Ariadne is accompanied by bacchantes, satyrs, fauns, sylvans, and others (no.9 "Grand cortège"). A "Grand pas" is performed by all assembled (no.10 "Grand pas"), followed by a rousing finale (no.11 "Galop générale").

"Apotheosis —" Olympus is revealed; Jupiter appears, Juno, Neptune, Vulcan, Minerva, Ceres, Mars, Pluto, Proserpina, Venus, and others (no.12 "Apothéose - La révélation d’Olympe").

Dances and scenes

*№01 "Danse de Diane"
*№02 "Entrée d’Aquilon"
*№03 "La rosée"
*№04 "Arrivée d’Aurore"
*№05 "Valse"
*№06-a "Entrée d’Apollon, Zéphyre, Cupidon, et des Amours"
*№06-b"Pizzicato" – "Entrée de Cupidon et des amours"
*№07 "Pas d’action"::a. "Adage"::b. "Variation de Zéphyre"::c. "Variation de Flore"::d. "Grande valse"
*№08 "Arrivée de Mercure, Ganymède et Hébé"
*№09 "Grand cortège"
*№10 "Grand pas"
*№11 "Galop générale"
*№12 "Apothéose – La révélation d’Olympe"


*St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres. "Celebration at Peterhof, Ezhegodnik Imperatorskikh Teatrov" 1893/1894, 426-9.

*Mariinsky Ballet. Souvenir program for the reconstruction of Petipa's "The Awakening of Flora" (from the "VII International Ballet Festival") at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia.

*Petipa, Marius. "The Diaries of Marius Petipa". Trans. and Ed. Lynn Garafola. Published in "Studies in Dance History". 3.1 (Spring 1992).

*Petipa, Marius. "Memuary Mariusa Petipa solista ego imperatorskogo velichestva i baletmeistera imperatorskikh teatrov" ("The Memoirs of Marius Petipa, Soloist of His Imperial Majesty and Ballet Master of the Imperial Theatres").

*Petipa, Marius. Lilian Moore, ed. and translator. "Russian Ballet Master: The Memoirs of Marius Petipa".

*Wiley, Roland John. "Dances from Russia: An Introduction to the Sergeyev Collection", Published in "The Harvard Library Bulletin", 24.1 January 1976.

*Wiley, Roland John. "The Life and Ballets of Lev Ivanov".

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