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Marius Petipa

Son of Antoine Petipa, dancer, choreographer and teacher, both Marius and his elder brother, Lucien, were brought up to follow the same profession.  Thus, Marius Petipa, though not enthused by the art form,  began his dance studies at age 7, at the same time he received a general education from the Grand College in Brussels. Marius' performing debut came as a child in his father's production of Pierre Gardel's La Dansomanie in 1831 at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels. The Belgian revolution followed soon afterwards placing the family in dire straits. Jean Petipa moved the family to Bordeaux in 1834, and then on to Nantes where Marius became a principal dancer in 1838.