Square Dance (Vivaldi, Corelli/Balanchine)
The Four Temperaments (Hindemith/Balanchine)
Symphony in C (Bizet/Balanchine)
Known for his love of all things American, Balanchine joined the traditions of American folk dance with classical ballet in his work SQUARE DANCE. Highlighting the dance forms’ common roots and similar regard for orderliness, the work is set to music from 17th-century Italian composers Antonio Vivaldi and Arcangelo Corelli.
- Balanchine noticed that the measured way in which ballet dancers cross the floor faintly suggests the patterns of square dancing and created Square Dance to draw comparisons between ballet and folk-dance steps. Balanchine even had the ballet accompanied by a square-dance caller when it premiere in 1957.
- Premiering at a high school in NYC in 1946, Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments was inspired by the medieval concept that each human being is a sum of four different humors, or temperaments – melancholic (analytical), sanguinic (enthusiastic/active), phlegmatic (relaxed/peaceful), and choleric (independent/decisive) – to varying degrees.
- Once Bizet’s Symphony in C major was rediscovered after decades of being lost, Balanchine took just two weeks to choreograph a ballet for the Paris Opera Ballet, where he’d been serving as a guest ballet master. Only a year later, Balanchine revived his 50 man work, simplified the sets and costumes, and also changed the title of what would become the first performance by the New York City Ballet.
Read more here:
- The Four Temperaments: https://www.nycballet.com/Ballets/F/The-Four-Temperaments.aspx
- Symphony in C Major: https://www.nycballet.com/ballets/s/symphony-in-c.aspx