zum Inhalt zur Navigation


(c)L'Opéra national de Paris
© L'Opéra national de Paris

Pierre Lacotte

The conviction that current developments in the art of dance can just be understood in the light of the past, was leading Pierre Lacotte on the tracks of the great masters of ballet in the 19th century. His knowledge of the style of those works has been taught by his teachers who were, as former dancers of the l’Opéra national de Paris and the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg, part of a great tradition. 

Born in 1932 in Chatou (France), Pierre Lacotte was, after his graduation of the Paris Opera ballet school, from 1946 to 1954 member of that house, from 1953 as a Premier Danseur. As a director of Les Ballets de la Tour Eiffel, which were founded in 1955, director of the Ballets des Jeunesses Musicales de France (1963–1970) and as a guest choreographer of the English Ballet Rambert, Lacotte could realise his ambitions of a creator of the modern ballets. Pierre Lacotte also played an important role in helping the exceptional dancer Rudolf Nureyev to make his legendary jump to the West during a guest performance of the Leningrad Kirov Ballet at Paris airport in 1961.
Since the early seventies, he dedicated himself mainly to the careful and detailed reconstruction of ballets of the 19th century. Important for the success was also the ballerina Ghislaine Thesmar, who had lots of stylistic sense and understanding for the presentation of ballets in its original form. Starting with »La Sylphide« (1971), Lacotte has rendered a dozen of ballets by choreographers such as Filippo Taglioni, Joseph Mazilier, Marie Taglioni, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa, which have been fallen into oblivion, to the international repertoire. In addition, his versions of traditional ballet of the 19th century such as »Coppélia« (1973, l’Opéra national de Paris), »Swan Lake« (1976, Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux), »Giselle« (1978, Ballet du Rhin) and »The Nutcracker« (2000, National Opera Athens) came along. Furthermore, Pierre Lacotte was the artistic director of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo (1985–1988, together with Ghislaine Thesmar), the Ballet of the Verona Opera (1988) and the Ballet National de Nancy et de Lorraine (1991–1999).
Lacotte's story ballets »La Sylphide« (2011) and »Coppélia« (2019) have so far been danced by the Vienna State Ballet, furthermore the Pas de six from Arthur Saint-Léon’s »La Vivandière« which has been a recreation for the Paris Opéra-Comique in 1976, a Pas de deux of his recreation of Joseph Mazilier’s »Paquita« and a Pas de deux from his »La Fille du Pharaon«. A Commandeur des Arts et Lettres, Pierre Lacotte was the co-author (with Jean-Pierre Pastori) of the book »Pierre Lacotte. Tradition« (Éditions Favre, 1987). Pierre Lacotte has died on 10 April 2023 at the age of 91.