Pas de Quatre – Pugni – Variation 1 (Lucile Grahn)


Variation 1 (Lucile Grahn) from Pas de Quatre

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Grand Pas de Quatre is a ballet divertissement set to music by Cesare Pugni that was choreographed by Jules Perrot in 1845.

It made a big impression on both the public and reviewers on the evening of its London debut (12 July 1845). This was due to the fact that it included the four greatest ballerinas of all time—Lucile Grahn, Carlotta Grisi, Fanny Cerrito, and Marie Taglioni. 

Choreographer Anton Dolin presented a new version of Pas de quatre in 1941. The dancers he engaged were Alicia Markova as Marie Taglioni, Alexandra Danilova as Fanny Cerrito, Mia Slavenska as Carlotta Grisi, and Nathalie Krassovska as Lucile Grahn.


Lucile Grahn was a renowned 19th-century Danish ballerina whose grace and virtuosity left an indelible mark on the world of classical ballet. Born on June 30, 1819, in Copenhagen, Denmark, she displayed prodigious talent from a young age, joining the Royal Danish Ballet School at just eight years old. Grahn’s early training and innate abilities quickly set her on a trajectory to become one of the most celebrated ballerinas of her time.

She made her debut as a professional dancer at the Royal Danish Ballet in 1834, and her performances were met with critical acclaim. However, it was her move to the Ballet du Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique in Paris in 1836 that truly solidified her reputation as a premier ballerina. In the French capital, Lucile Grahn’s exquisite technique, impeccable stage presence, and transcendent artistry dazzled audiences and her fellow dancers, making her an iconic figure in the history of ballet.

Grahn’s legacy continued to thrive throughout her career, and she became a muse for some of the most famous choreographers and composers of her era, including Jules Perrot and Adolphe Adam. Her roles in productions like “Giselle” and “La Sylphide” became legendary, and her influence extended far beyond the stage. Lucile Grahn’s contributions to ballet technique and her dedication to her art continue to inspire generations of dancers.

She retired from the stage in the 1850s but remained involved in the world of dance, teaching and choreographing until her passing on April 4, 1907.


A well-known figure in the realm of 19th-century ballet music was Cesare Pugni (1802–1870). Pugni, who was born in Genoa, Italy, showed promise as a musician at a young age and underwent professional piano and composition instruction. His work was mostly connected to Russia, where he was the chief composer for the St. Petersburg-based Imperial Ballet. Pugni’s extensive work, which included writing music for several well-known choreographers including Marius Petipa and Jules Perrot, made a significant contribution to the art of ballet.

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