Paquita, a romantic ballet about the love between a gypsy girl and a man of noble birth, appears in today’s classical ballet repertoire in the form of a few key pieces, especially the Grand Pas. While most of today’s performances of are very far from the first versions, they retain the charm and Spanish influence of the original.
Today, Paquita is rarely performed as a full story ballet. Some modern productions have reconstructed (as far as possible) the original ballet and story, although this is rare.
The original story is set in Spain during the Napoleonic Wars. The heroine, Paquita, a young gypsy girl, grows up unaware that she was abducted as a baby and is actually of noble birth. Paquita and the young French nobleman, Lucien d’Hervilly, fall in love, and she saves him from becoming the victim of a murderous plot. The story concludes with the discovery that Paquita and Lucien are cousins and therefore free to marry.
Video: Paquita - Pas de trois: Anastasia Goryacheva, The Bolshoi Ballet.