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Stravinsky Violin Concerto at New York City Ballet

02/11/12 David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza (Columbus Ave. at 63rd St.) Map
212-721-6500
nycballet.com Ages: All Ages
Tarantella at New York City Ballet
02/11/12 David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza (Columbus Ave. at 63rd St.) Map
212-721-6500
nycballet.com Ages: All Ages

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In 1941, Balanchine choreographed Balustrade for the Ballet Russe to Stravinsky's Violin Concerto in D. When he returned to the score three decades later, he could no longer remember his original choreography. But Balanchine was not at all disturbed by the loss. "What I did then was for then," he said, "and what I wanted to do to this music for our Stravinsky Festival... represented more than 30 years' difference." The new choreography follows the score directly: An opening "Toccata" and a final "Capriccio" enclose two central "Arias," which form contrasting pas de deux for two different couples.

The nimble quickness of Tarantella provides a virtuosic showcase. The profusion of steps and the quick changes of direction this brief but explosive pas de deux requires typify the ways in which Balanchine expanded the traditional vocabulary of classical dance. Gottschalk, who lived from 1829 to 1869, was one of the first American composers to be recognized in Europe. His syncopated rhythms and jagged melodic lines incorporating elements of folk dancing foreshadowed the work of other American composers later in the 19th century.

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