Riccardo Drigo was a rather important figure in the St. Petersburg Imperial Ballet, having conducted the premieres of Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, and Swan Lake (1895 version); the Swan Lake music included several of his own compositions.
A contributor of many isolated numbers to older ballets, he composed Le Corsaire “pas de deux” for Petipa’s 1899 version as a spectacular vehicle for the reigning ballerina, Pierna Legnani.
The ballet was re-choreographed by Vakhtang Chabukiani in the 1920’s and made famous again in the 1960’s by Dame Margot Fonteyn and her partner, Rudolph Nureyev.
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