La Fille Mal Gardee

 La fille mal gardée is a comic ballet presented in two acts, inspired by Pierre-Antoine Baudouin's 1789 painting, La réprimande/Une jeune fille querellée par sa mère. The ballet was originally choreographed by the Ballet Master Jean Dauberval to a pastiche of music based on fifty-five popular French airs. The ballet was premiered on 1 July 1789 at the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux in Bordeaux, France under the title Le ballet de la paille, ou Il n’est qu’un pas du mal au bien.

La Fille mal gardée is one of the oldest and most important works in the modern ballet repertory, having been kept alive throughout its long performance history by way of many revivals. The work has undergone many changes of title and has had no fewer than six scores, some of which were adaptations of older music.

Today La Fille mal gardée is normally presented in one of two different versions: many ballet companies feature productions which are derived from Alexander Gorsky's version to the music of Peter Ludwig Hertel, originally staged for the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 1903. Gorsky's version was almost entirely based on Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov's 1885 staging for the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg. The Petipa/Ivanov staging was itself based on Paul Taglioni's version to the music of Peter Ludwig Hertel, originally staged in 1864 for the Court Opera Ballet of the Königliches Opernhaus in Berlin. Modern audiences are perhaps most familiar with the production staged by Frederick Ashton for the Royal Ballet in 1960.

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