Abbé Perrin (Director of...
A brother and student of Maximilien Gardel (1741-1787), Pierre Gardel made his debut at the Académie Royale de Musique in 1771. He was made a Premier Danseur in 1780 and he replaced his brother as Ballet Master in 1787 following the latter’s premature death. Pierre Gardel led the Opera Ballet for over forty years, during which time he protected it from the upheavals of the French Revolution. Under the impetus of Pierre Gardel the Opera Ballet enjoyed one of its most dazzling periods with the maintenance of the traditional repertoire and the introduction of new works. A valued teacher, he was also the director of the Opera’s Ballet School from 1799 to 1815. His first choreographed creations, Télémaque and Psyché (1790), enthused audiences and he would enjoy unfading success until his retirement in 1829. Gardel performed for the last time on stage in a minuet with Marie Taglioni. In addition to Psyché, his principal ballets were Le Jugement de Pâris (1793), La Rosière républicaine (1794), La Dansomanie (1800) and Paul et Virginie (1806)—the first romantic ballet. His wife, Marie Miller (1770-1833), who was known as Madame Gardel, performed in all of his ballets.
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