The First Beginnings of the Ballet - at the Hetman’ Lady Opera House


Cracovia Danza Ballet

Cracovia Danza Ballet
Kraków, Poland

The performance, choreographed by Romana Agnel and Dariusz Brojek, takes the audience on a journey to the Branicki Palace in 18th-century Bialystok, where the art of ballet flourished. There was a ballet school established in the residence of Izabela and Jan Klemens Branicki and there was also a ballet company at the court theatre. The dancers, including Maciej Pręczyński, who is considered to be the first professional Polish dancer, were trained by the dance master Antonio Puttini in Białystok. Izabela Branicka, the wife of a castellan of Krakow, supervised the appropriate planning of the ballet and music repertoire in the court theatre, i.e. the newly established so-called opera house. The Branicki residence soon became one of the most important ballet centres in Poland. It also had a great influence on the Polish ballet established by Polish King Stanisław August as they trained Polish dancers for the royal company there. The First Beginnings of the Ballet - at the Hetman’ Lady Opera House performance not only shows how the first Polish ballet schools and companies were established, but also reveals the secrets of the education, the methods used and the mastery of the teachers of that time. We can see original choreographies of European ballet from the first half of the 18th century (by the French choreographer Louis Pecourt) and a careful selection of music and dances. Therefore, it presents repertoire which could have been performed in the Branicki opera house. The story of the ballet's beginnings is filled with dances such as, among others, minuet, allemande, courante, sarabande, gigue, gavotte or la folias well as music of popular composers of that time, including Corelli, Boccherini or Lully. The well-known Polonaise in G major by Maciej Radziwiłł or fragments of André Campra's ballet L'Europe Galante (Exquisite Europe), which were very famous at the time, are also part of the performance.


  • Title: The First Beginnings of the Ballet - at the Hetman’ Lady Opera House
  • Date Created: 2020
  • Type: ballet performance

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