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Best of Balanchine

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StadsschouwburgUtrecht, Netherlands
November 19, 20 at 20:00

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.

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.

New in Dutch National Ballet's repertoire is Ballet Imperial, set to Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 and 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, with new costumes by François-Noël Cherpin, revives the majestic grandeur of bygone days in a luxuriant tutu ballet.

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 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.

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