|New York City Ballet|
The Balanchine Centennial Celebration continues with New York City Ballet’s 2004 winter repertory season, from 6 January through 29 February 29. During this eight-week season, New York City Ballet will perform 17 ballets that explore Balanchine’s classical heritage and early influences, as well as several of his own early works. The winter season will also include the Centennial Celebration’s first new ballet, a world premiere by Broadway director and choreographer Susan Stroman in a tribute to Balanchine’s legendary contributions to the Broadway stage.
Balanchine’s first appearance on any stage was in St. Petersburg as a bug in a theatrical production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As a tribute to that debut, New York City Ballet will begin its exploration of Balanchine’s heritage on 6 January 2004 with the choreographer’s own production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Choreographed in 1962, A Midsummer Night’s Dream was the first original, full-length story ballet created in America.
On 22 January 2004, to mark the actual centennial of Balanchine’s birth, New York City Ballet will perform a one-time-only program consisting of three of Balanchine’s most important early works: Apollo, Serenade, and Prodigal Son.
Other early works created in America that will be performed during the winter season include Concerto Barocco, choreographed in 1941, and included on New York City Ballet’s first performance, which took place on October 11, 1948, at New York’s City Center Theater.
The winter season exploration of Balanchine’s heritage will also include Tschaikosvsky Piano Concerto No. 2, which Balanchine choreographed in 1941 for American Ballet Caravan. Created as a tribute to St. Petersburg, Petipa, and Tschaikovsky, the ballet was originally titled Ballet Imperial and featured classical tutus and a backdrop painted to resemble a scenic view of the Imperial Russian capital. In 1973 Balanchine restaged the ballet without the elaborate production elements, and renamed it Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2.
The winter season will also include Balanchine’s Jewels, which he created in 1967 at New York City Ballet’s new home, the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, which was built for Balanchine and NYCB. The first plotless, full-evening ballet ever created, Jewels consists of three acts – Emeralds, Rubies, and Diamonds which pay tribute to the three countries that played such important roles in Balanchine’s creative life: France (Emeralds), America (Rubies), and Russia (Diamonds).
New York City Ballet has not performed Jewels since 1999, and for Balanchine 100: The Centennial Celebration, the ballet will be presented as a major revival, featuring new set designs by Peter Harvey, who was Balanchine’s original designer for Jewels.
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