The ballets that made New York a centre for dance
Jerome Robbins is one of the foremost American choreographers, known for having choreographed and directed West Side Story (1957). In 1949 he was appointed assistant artistic director of the New York City Ballet, founded by George Balanchine the year before. The Concert – subtitled The Perils of Everybody (1956) – is one of Robbins’ best-known works. It tells the story of a visit to the theatre from the point of view of the audience with great wit and charm. The music – nine piano pieces by Chopin played by N N on a grand piano centre stage – and the way it affects the audience is central to the work.
Jerome Robbins developed Balanchine’s neoclassical style and incorporated the showier style of Broadway musicals. In In the Night from 1970 Robbins combines extrovert narrative ballet with classical music. Three couples of different ages and in different stages of their relationship dance to Chopin’s bittersweet nocturnes – the nuances of their relationships are expressed through dance.
Finally, a work by George Balanchine. Balanchine was a choreographer with the Ballets Russes in Paris. He later moved to the United States where he founded the School of American Ballet, and later the New York City Ballet. His importance to dance cannot be overstated. He created around 400 choreographies, many of them iconic. Theme and Variations from 1947 is one example of these modern classics. Performed to the final movement of Tchaikovsky’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 – here performed by Marie Rosenmir conducting the Royal Swedish Orchestra – Balanchine’s abstract ballet celebrates early Russian ballet but is also forward-looking.
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OCTOBER 21 2022 in the Golden Foyer at 6 p.m., free entrance.
Royal Swedish Ballet
Royal Swedish Orchestra