Pas de Quatre – Pugni – Variation 3 (Fanny Cerrito)


Variation 3 (Fanny Cerrito) 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.


Fanny Cerrito, a 19th-century Italian ballerina, left an indelible mark on the world of classical ballet with her extraordinary talent and captivating performances. Born on May 11, 1817, in Naples, Italy, she displayed exceptional dance abilities from a very young age. Her ballet training began in Naples, and it quickly became evident that she possessed a unique combination of technical precision, artistry, and charisma.

Cerrito’s rise to fame was meteoric, and she made her debut at the San Carlo Theatre in Naples in 1832. Her performances were marked by a remarkable versatility that allowed her to excel in both classical and romantic roles, a rarity for her time. Her artistry and virtuosity led to an invitation to join the Paris Opera Ballet in 1836, where she became one of the principal dancers and a celebrated figure in the world of dance.

Fanny Cerrito’s partnership with choreographer Jules Perrot was particularly influential, as they collaborated on numerous groundbreaking ballets. Their creative synergy resulted in works like “La Vivandière” and “Pas de Quatre,” which showcased Cerrito’s exceptional abilities and had a profound impact on the development of ballet in the 19th century. Her dynamic stage presence, innovative choreography, and dedication to her craft helped shape the course of ballet history.

Although she retired from the stage in the mid-1840s, her legacy as a trailblazing ballerina and a muse for choreographers continues to inspire dancers and remains an essential part of the ballet tradition. Fanny Cerrito passed away on May 6, 1909.


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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