The Bel Air Classiques DVD, distributed by Harmonia Mundi, contains the Bolshoi Ballet's performance of the ballet, with Svetlana Zakharova and SergueÇ Filin in the lead roles. Alexander Sotnokov conducted the Bolshoi Theatre's orchestra.
The ballet, based on a story by Th_ophile Gautier and with a score by Cesare Pugni, tells the story of an Englishman in Egypt who falls asleep after smoking some opium in a pyramid. He dreams that he is an ancient Egyptian in love with Aspicia, the pharaoh's daughter, who has been promised to the King of Nubia. Aspicia throws herself into the Nile to avoid the marriage, and is welcomed by the ruler of the underworld, the God of the River Nile. She is found by some fishermen, and all is resolved before the Englishman awakes.
The original ballet, Petipa's first success, survived only in limited notation, with three solos documented and, according to an article in last year's Telegraph, two other solos taught to Lacotte by some of Petipa's own dancers. The rest was choreographed by Lacotte based on Petipa's style.
Lacotte has reconstructed other 19th-century works, including Taglioni's La Sylphide.
The Bolshoi will perform the North American premiere of The Pharaoh's Daughter at the Metropolitan Opera House on July 28.