A quintessential Bournonville piece, Flower Festival in Genzano was originally a one-act ballet choreographed in 1858 for the Royal Danish Ballet. Although the full ballet was inspired by an Alexandre Dumas tale, today only the pas de deux survives. Nevertheless, the charming love story is still apparent in this flirtatious duet, which includes an entrance, two variations and a coda.
In this video from 2001, a young and playful Maria Kochetkova performs the female variation from this pas de deux in Moscow. Even without her partner, Kochetkova exudes a coquettish demeanor. Just as her dainty brisés perfectly suit her petite physique—not to mention her Bournonville ballon—her endearing épaulement takes viewers in from the moment of her first preparation. Even at this early age, it is no surprise that Kochetkova would go on to become a principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet only six years later. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!