(1818-1910) French choreographer. He created some of the most important ballets in the classical repertory. For the Imperial Ballet in Russia he created masterpieces such as Don Quixote 1869, La Bayadčre 1877, The Sleeping Beauty 1890, Swan Lake 1895 (with Ivanov), and Raymonda 1898.
He emigrated to St Petersburg 1847, becoming ballet master of the Imperial Ballet 1862. His ballets were grand, evening-length works complete with exotic costumes and richly decorated sets. A feature of Petipa's ballets were the divertissements that brought the often thin storyline to a halt to allow the soloists a chance to display their virtuosity. These were contrasted with the shifting patterns and formations of the corps de ballet.