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177. THE CARD PARTY (also called THE CARD GAME, POKER GAME)


A Ballet in Three Deals


Music: By Igor Stravinsky (Jeu de Cartes -A Card Game -Das Kartenspiel, 1936, commissioned by Lincoln Kirstein and Edward M. M. Warburg). Book by Igor Stravinsky and M. Malaieff.

Choreography: By George Balanchine.

Production: Scenery and costumes by Irene Sharaff. Scenery executed by Triangle Scenic Studio and painted by Joseph Novak; costumes executed by Eaves Costume Company and the American Ballet Studio: Eudoxia Mironova, Marie Striga. Wigs by Lucien.

Premiere: April 27, 1937, American Ballet, Metropolitan Opera, New York. Conductor: Igor Stravinsky.

Cast: Joker, William Dollar; Queens: Hearts, Annabelle Lyon; Spades, Leda Anchutina; Diamonds, Ariel Lang [Helen Leitch]; Clubs, Hortense Kahrklin; 4 Aces (women); 4 Kings; 4 Jacks; 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 of Hearts; 10, 9, 8, 7 of Spades.

Note: As conceived by Stravinsky, the principal characters are the chief cards in a game of poker; each of the three deals is complicated by the endless tricks of the perfidious Joker who believes himself invincible because of his ability to become any desired card.

Revisions: In later productions by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and the New York City Ballet, the Aces were danced by men.

See also: 176   275  

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