Dutch National Ballet presents

Best of Balanchine III George Balanchine

THREE BRILLIANT BALLETS

Pioneering, original and timeless, George Balanchine's (1904-1983) ballets are often compared to Picasso's paintings or Stravinsky's music. In Best of Balanchine, Dutch National Ballet honours the genius and astounding versatility of this master choreographer.

Apollon Musagete, 2016
Foto: Angela Sterling
Stravinsky Violin Concerto, 2016
Foto: Angela Sterling
Tarantella Pas de Deux, 2016
Foto: Angela Sterling
Theme and Variations, 2016
Foto: Angela Sterling
Agon, 2013
Foto: Angela Sterling
Serenade, 2013
Foto: Angela Sterling
Symphony in C, 2013
Foto: Angela Sterling

Balanchine

Balanchine's Russian background gave him a rich palette of nineteenth-century Russian ballet to draw on. But it wasn't until he moved to New York City in 1933 that the greatest dance pioneer of the twentieth century truly took flight, going on to create over 150 ballets and establishing the celebrated New York City Ballet. Though varied in style and technique, the Russian-American choreographer’s creations are always exceptionally musical and charged with expressive freedom.

Balanchine the imperial heir

Ballet Imperial, set to Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, has been described by Balanchine as ‘a modern-day tribute to Marius Petipa, the father of classical ballet’. Trained in St Petersburg, Balanchine's homage to the Imperial Russian Ballet's illustrious nineteenth-century choreographer, revives the majestic grandeur of bygone days in a luxuriant tutu ballet. With new costumes and set by François-Noël Cherpin.

 

Balanchine the pioneer

It was during his tenure at the legendary Ballets Russes, from 1924 until the death of Serge Diaghilev in 1929, that Balanchine met Igor Stravinsky, marking the start of a long-time artistic partnership between two kindred spirits. Balanchine's Symphony in Three Movements was created for the Stravinsky Festival in 1972. With sporty and athletic elements, this snappy, snazzy ballet is a testament to Balanchine’s pioneering spirit and exceptional musicality.

 

Balanchine the entertainer

Balanchine also created quite a few choreographies for Broadway that left a clear stamp on his work for the New York City Ballet. In Who Cares?, set to 16 songs by George Gershwin, he evokes the chic glamour, light-hearted humour and effervescent joie de vivre of old Broadway.

Costumes and set

Francois-Noel Cherpin

An important contributor to this third edition of Best of Balanchine is French designer François-Noël Cherpin, who created not only the costumes for Who Cares? but also a completely new décor for Ballet Imperial. Joining Dutch National Ballet as a dancer at the age of 19, he designed his first costumes two years later for Ted Brandsen’s Motel Dances. As Brandsen’s regular costumer since 1991, Cherpin has furnished splendid designs for many other ballet productions, including Carmen, Coppelia and Mata Hari. At the moment he is working on an international live animation film production based on Brandsen's Coppelia. Of his designs for Ballet Imperial, Cherpin says, ‘My inspiration was the last grand ball the Romanovs ever gave in St Petersburg, but they’re also a nod to the famous Karinska, Balanchine’s designer.’

Choreography 

George Balanchine

Music

Ballet Imperial
(Dutch premiere)
Pjotr Iljitsj Tsjaikovski
Soloists: Michael Mouratsch en Alexander Reitenbach

Symphony in Three Movements
Igor Stravinsky

Who Cares?
George Gershwin
Soloist: Olga Khoziainova

 

Orchestra

Dutch Ballet Orchestra
conducted by Fayçal Karoui

Dutch Ballet Orchestra
Since its inception in 1965, the orchestra has been proud to accompany its partners, Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. The working method is unique in the Netherlands. Dutch Ballet Orchestra, with Matthew Rowe as principal conductor, consists of a regular core of 45 musicians, supported where necessary by highly qualified guest performers. This gives the orchestra its unique character: flexible, dynamic and high-quality. Dutch Ballet Orchestra combines music and dance into a magical experience: from classical ballet to modern dance, and from music education to talent development. The orchestra’s mission is to create an optimal synthesis between music and dance, in order to reach dance-lovers and ballet music enthusiasts, as well as children and youngsters. The orchestra has received several international awards for its educational projects, including the Young Audiences Music Award in 2016 for Creatures, a collaborative project with dance company ISH.

George Balanchine

Choreographer

George Balanchine made quite a mark on the development of theatrical dance - he is the maestro of story-less musical ballet. His ballets mostly stand out because of their architectonical composition of choreographic patterns and dance themes.

    Tue 29 Jan Bregtje Schudel, Het Parool, Feb 2013, 4 sterren

    'No season at Dutch National Ballet is complete without an evening of the twentieth-century's leading choreographer, Balanchine, who both embraced classical ballet and creatively recreated it from within.'

    Tue 29 Jan Noordhollands Dagblad, 2013

    ‘Balanchine is always a breath of fresh air’

    Tue 29 Jan De Telegraaf, 2013

    ‘Celebrate with Balanchine’