Day 332 - George Balanchine - a most musical choreographer
Earlier in Keep Going Together we looked at the work of Mark Morris. There is, however, one figure who towers over the world of classical ballet for his use of some of the greatest classical music - George Balanchine. Born in Russia he first founded the American Dance School and then New York City Ballet where he made an extraordinary body of choreography, much of it to major classical works. He worked particularly closely with the music of Igor Stravinsky - works included Apollo, Jeu de Cartes, Agon, Firebird and Pulcinella. He also used music by Schumann, Brahms, Ravel and Richard Strauss among many others. One of the very greatest dance experiences is to see the Balanchine Nutcracker at the Lincoln Center at Christmas. Almost the whole of the first act is choreographed for children and a video is linked below. New York City Ballet still treat him as a living presence - always referring to 'what Mr B would want'. His choreography is vibrant, striking, virtuosic, and above all true to the music!
Balanchine Stravinsky Violin Concerto watch here
Balanchine Pulcinella watch here
Balanchine Nutcracker watch here