Music: By Emmanuel Chabrier (Dix Pièces Pittoresques, 1880 [piano pieces, some orchestrated by Chabrier, others by Vittorio Rieti] and the third of the Trois Valses Romantiques for piano, 1883 [orchestrated by Rieti]). Book by Boris Kochno.
Choreography: By George Balanchine.
Production: Scenery and costumes by Christian Bérard. Scenery executed by Prince A. Schervashidze; women's costumes executed by Karinska, men's costumes executed by Lidvall.
Premiere: April 12, 1932, Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo, Opéra de Monte-Carlo. Conductor: Pierre Kolpikoff. (Preview: January 17, 1932, Ballets [Russes] de Monte-Carlo, Opéra de Monte-Carlo, with George Balanchine in the role later danced by David Lichine. Conductor: Marc-César Scotto.)
Cast: THE TOILETTE: THE BALLROOM,
WHERE THE FINAL PREPARATIONS ARE INTERRUPTED BY THE ARRIVAL OF
GUESTS: Tamara Toumanova, Natalie Strakhova, David Lichine; THE
INTRODUCTIONS: Valentina Blinova, 12 women, 6 men; THE MASTER
OF CEREMONIES RUNS IN LATE: Léon Woizikowsky; THE PLEASURE
GARDEN: THE MASTER AND MISTRESS OF CEREMONIES DEMONSTRATE THE FIGURES
OF THE FIRST DANCE, WHICH ARE REPEATED BY ALL THE GUESTS: Blinova,
Woizikowsky, corps de ballet; NEW ENTRÉE AND DANCE OF HATS:
Harlequins, Jockeys, and Spaniards, Toumanova, Strakhova, 4
women; Lichine, 2 men; THE HANDS OF FATE: THE CAVALIER COMES
UP TO THE CURTAIN TO CHOOSE ONE OF THE HANDS THAT ARE REVEALED ABOVE
IT, BUT IS STOPPED BY THE SUDDEN APPARITION OF A HAND GLOVED IN
BLACK: Lubov Rostova, Valentin Froman; THE MAGIC LANTERN: A
YOUNG GIRL TELLS THE FORTUNES OF THE GUESTS; APPEARANCE OF THE BAT
AND THE CUP OF CHAMPAGNE: Toumanova, Blinova, Rostova, Froman,
Lichine, corps de ballet; GRAND ROND AND END OF COTILLION: Entire
Note: Amid the program of
festivities at a cotillion, Fate appears in the guise of a vampire
wearing black gloves. A Young Girl telling fortunes is rebuffed by
the Mistress of Ceremonies and runs off, but reappears to lead the
Grand Rond in which she pirouettes around the ballroom by herself,
until the guests join her spinning and the curtain falls.
The preview performance
marked the debut of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, which within six
weeks became the Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo. Cotilion and
Balanchine's other major work for the company, La Concurrence,
were performed by the several Ballets Russes companies in Europe,
North America, Australia (and in the case of Cotillon, South
America) until 1939 (La Concurrence) and well into the
1940s (Cotillon), among other things providing
the base for Balanchine's early reputation in the United States.
In 1967, Balanchine
choreographed Chabrier's Trois Valses Romantiques for the New
York City Ballet.
Video/DVD: 2004, Kultur, Balanchine (excerpts); 2005, Zeitgeist Films, Ballets Russes (excerpt).
Reconstruction: 1988, Joffrey Ballet.