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178. LE BAISER DE LA FÉE (also called THE FAIRY'S KISS)


Ballet-Allegory in Four Scenes


Music And Book: By Igor Stravinsky (1928, commissioned by Ida Rubinstein, dedicated to Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky). Based on a tale by Hans Christian Andersen (The Ice Maiden).

Choreography: By George Balanchine.

Production: Scenery and costumes by Alice Halicka. Scenery painted by Joseph Novak; costumes executed by Theatrical Costume Company and American Ballet Studio: Eudoxia Mironova, Marie Striga.

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

Cast: The Fairy, Kathryn Mullowny; The Bride, Gisella Caccialanza; Her Friend, Leda Anchutina; The Bridegroom, William Dollar; His Mother, Annabelle Lyon. FIRST TABLEAU, PROLOGUE: Mother; 2 Winds; Snowflakes, Anchutina, 21 women; Fairy; Her Shadow, Rabana Hasburgh; 8 Mountaineers. SECOND TABLEAU, THE VILLAGE FESTIVAL: Peasant Boys and Girls; Bridegroom; Bride; Bridesmaids, Anchutina, 7 women; A Gypsy (Disguised Fairy). THIRD TABLEAU, INSIDE THE MILL: DANCE OF THE PEASANT GIRLS: Anchutina, 16 women; PAS DE DEUX; BRIDE'S VARIATION; CODA (Bride, Bridegroom, Friend, corps de ballet); SCENE: Fairy, Bridegroom. FOURTH TABLEAU, EPILOGUE (BERCEUSE DE DEMEURES ETERNELLES): Fairy, Bridegroom.

Note: Stravinsky used the story of The Ice Maiden, with its theme of the muse's fatal kiss, to compose an homage to Tchaikovsky. The Fairy implants her magic kiss on a child at birth. When the child has grown to young manhood and good fortune, the Fairy reappears at his wedding fête; repeating the kiss, she leads the young man (the artist in allegory) to abandon his bride and dwell with her forever.
The score was first choreographed by Bronislava Nijinska in 1928 for Ballets Ida Rubinstein. Balanchine created a new ballet in 1937. In 1972, he choreographed Divertimento from 'Le Baiser de la Fée' [376] for the New York City Ballet Stravinsky Festival, using musical selections from the full ballet score. (see FESTIVALS DIRECTED BY BALANCHINE.)

Revisions: 1940, Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo: Final scene changed several times. 1947, Paris Opéra: Final scene changed. 1950, New York City Ballet: Dance sequences in entr'actes between the tableaux lengthened; new EPILOGUE (changed several times to better create illusion of Fairy and Bridegroom swimming through space).

Archival Video:George Balanchine Foundation Archive of Lost Choreography (Bride and Bridegroom pas de deux; Bride's solo), 1998; (Gypsy pas de deux), 1998.

See also: 133.7   176   271   376  

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