The alluring immortal classical ballet – part 3


Les petits riens, the only ballet by Mozart

There is nothing else to be said about this amazing ballet by Mozart because everything was said in a previous article. However, this performance had to be included in our list lest we not forget about the brilliance of this ballet.


Esmeralda, the classical ballet inspired by a French story

If in the previous story we saw that some authors were inspired by the lively energy of Spain and its stories, now the French culture gets its time to shine in the retelling of Victor Hugo’s story about (this time) the beautiful Roma girl.

The story follows closely the plot of the book during its three acts and a prologue.

Esmeralda, Classical ballet

The child of a mother is stolen and replaced with a deformed baby by a group of Roma people. The mother is heartbroken and leaves the child at the steeps of Notre Dame which is found by a priest who takes the deformed baby inside.

The time is not frozen and the child grows. During some festivities, Quasimodo is elected as the “pope of the fools”. “His savior” puts an end to this blasphemy, however, the people do not wish to end their festivities yet. A band of Roma people comes and starts to reanimate the party. Among them is the beautiful Esmeralda. The priest takes a liking to her and orders Quasimodo to kidnap her for him. He tries but she is saved by Phoebus who wants to arrest Quasimodo, however, Esmeralda pleads to release him.

Esmeralda, classical ballet

The next day we assist to an engagement party for Phoebus and his beau, but again the band of Roma people interrupts them. Phoebus dances with Esmeralda to the dismay of his fiancé who banishes the band.

Phoebus is pretty conflicted with his feelings and meets Frollo from whom he borrows money, not knowing that he is also in love with the young Roma girl.

Esmeralda and Phoebus declare their love and before they kiss Frollo tries to kill the young man. The girl sees the priest and slaps Phoebus. She is charged with murder. In the shadows, Quasimodo saw the whole scene and knew the real murderer.

In prison, Frollo tries to make Esmeralda accept him, but she refuses him.

Everyone came to see the death of Esmeralda, including Phoebus and his fiancé (and the boy pays no attention to the Roma girl). Quasimodo saves her. Frollo then throws the girl into a cell next to a crazy woman. At the neck of the Roma girl, the crazy woman sees the proof that she is her stolen daughter (remember the prologue?).

Esmeralda is killed and Quasimodo revenges the girl’s death by killing the priest.


And this is it. A shortlist (10 performances by 8 composers) of the timeless ballet shows. Some of them are older than the others, but still beautiful in their own way, expressing different themes – from love and adventure to ghosts and revenge. Each ballet mentioned in this list is a testament to the passing of time and the immortal nature of the art that should not be forgotten.

Even if you choose to see one of them or are lucky enough to see all of them, you will not regret the experience.

Maybe it is the brilliant music, maybe the gorgeous costumes, or maybe the captivating stories, but there must be a secret to why these ballet shows survived (even in a world that pays less attention to this type of dance). Or maybe there is a combination of everything. You cannot say that you were the first to see one of these shows with the original cast, but it will be a real shame to pass on these opportunities.




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