Outstanding choreographer and ballet dancer was born in Marseilles in a family of Jean-Antoine Petipa, French ballet master and famous dancer, and drama actress Victorine Morel-Grasseau. First lessons in ballet Petipa received from his father, and then completed his ballet training under the great dancer and choreographer AugusteVestris. As a child he accompanied his father on tours in France, the United States and Spain.
In 1847Petipa was invited by Russian authorities in St.Petersburg as a dancer. Later the same year he made his debut as a choreographer. In 1850s-1860s he created a number of one-act ballets and divertissements.In 1862 Petipabecame famous by staging“The Pharaoh's Daughter“(to the music ofC.Pugni) which astonished the public with its spectacularity and richness in dancing and was officially appointed Ballet Master, from 1869 until 1903 he held a position of Premier Maître de Ballet of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres. In 1894 Petipa took out Russian citizenship. He considered Russian performers the best in the world, speaking of their innate ability to dance that demands only practice and enhancement. Marius Petipa died in Gurzuf on 1 (14) July 1910.
Marius Petipa’s work is an entire epoch that had a great influence on the development of Russian ballet. Among his productions there are ballets “Tsar Candavl” (1868) to the music of Cesare Pugni; “Don Quixote” (1869, Moscow; 1871,St.Petersburg), “La Bayadere” (1877) to the music of Ludwig Minkus and many others.M.Petipa reached the ultimate academism and symphonization of dance in ballets of Pyotr Tchaikovsky (“The Sleeping Beauty”, 1890; “Swan Lake”, 1895) and Alexander Glazunov (“Raymonda”, 1898).Petipa is not only a distinguished choreographer who created the golden treasury of classical heritage which still makes repertoire base of the world major ballet companies.He also revived a substantial number of works created by his predecessors J.Perrot, J.Mazilier, A.Saint-Leon preserving them for the future generations. The most famous of these revivals were “Giselle", “La Esmeralda", "Le Corsaire”, “Paquita” and others. Many of his ballets are kept in today’s repertoire as prominent examples of choreographic heritage of the XIX century.
In 2002 Perm local public foundation “Pearl of Urals” established Marius Petipa Award “For purity and academism of classical dance” which ever since has been granted at each “Arabesque”competition.
Laureates of Marius Petipa Award “For purity and academism of classical dance” at ballet competition “Arabesque”:
- "Arabesque-2002"Alexandra Surodeyeva (Kazakhstan), now principal dancer of Perm Academic P.I.Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre.
- "Arabesque-2004"Sergey Sidorsky (Ukraine), now principal dancer of the Taras Shevchenko Ukrainian National Opera (Kiev).
- "Arabesque-2006"Robert Gabdullin (Russia, Ekaterinburg), now principal dancer of Wiener Staatsoper (Austria).
- "Arabesque-2008"Artyom Ovcharenko (Russia, Moscow), now principal dancer of the Bolshoi Theatre.
- "Arabesque-2010"Dmitriy Kotermin (Russia, Moscow), now leading soloist of Moscow territory state theatre “Russian Ballet”.
- "Arabesque-2012"Sergey Gagen (Russia, Perm), now leading soloist of Samara Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre.
- "Arabesque-2014"Nikita Chetverikov (Russia, Perm), now principal dancer of Perm Academic P.I.Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre.
- "Arabesque-2016"Yerkin Rakhmatullayev (Kazakhstan), now leading soloist of State Opera and Ballet Theatre “Astana Opera”.