His fateful year was 1968. While the students revolted, half Paris went on the barricades and the signs all pointed to progress, Pierre Lacotte sat in the archives of the opera digging up a ballet original from the 19th century. More regression is hardly possible. However, a broken ankle condemned the dancer and choreographer to this forced break, which he used on the one hand to marry his longtime friend and colleague Ghislaine Thesmar. On the other hand, his archival research laid the foundation for a career that would take him to the most renowned houses in Europe and as far away as Russia: starting with “La Sylphide” – premiered in 1832 and reconstructed in 1971 – the dance world owes the Frenchman numerous revivals of the romantic repertoire. He knew better than anyone else how to snatch the esprit of the epoch, including its elemental spirits, elves and fairies, from oblivion.