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194. BALLET IMPERIAL (from 1973 called TSCHAIKOVSKY PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2)



Music: By Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky (Piano Concerto No. 2 in G major, Op. 44, I879, abridged, rewritten, and rearranged by Alexander Siloti).

Choreography: By George Balanchine.

Production: Scenery and costumes by Mstislav Doboujinsky.

Premiere: June 25, 1941, American Ballet Caravan, Teatro Municipal, Rio de Janeiro. Conductor: Emanuel Balaban. Pianist: Simon Sadoff. (Open dress rehearsal: May 29, Little Theatre of Hunter College, New York. Conductor: Fritz Mahler.)

Cast: Marie-Jeanne, William Dollar; Gisella Caccialanza; Fred Danieli, Nicholas Magallanes; 2 female demi-soloists; 16 women, 6 men.
ALLEGRO BRILLANTE--ANDANTE; ANDANTE NON TROPPO; ALLEGRO CON FUOCO.

Note: A tribute to Imperial St. Petersburg, Petipa, and Tchaikovsky.

Revisions: 1942, Ballerina's first-movement cadenza rechoreographed; 1944, Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo: Corps reduced to 12 women and 4 men, or occasionally one or two more; 1950, Sadler's Wells [later Royal Ballet]: Pantomime deleted and new pas de deux, with extra music, added in second movement; somewhat different groupings in third movement; new scenery and costumes by Eugene Berman; 1964, New York City Ballet: 1944 version with several changes and corps de ballet of 12 women and 4 men; 1973, New York City Ballet: Mime removed, corps increased to 16 women and 6 men.

New Productions by Balanchine Companies: New York City Ballet: 1964, with new scenery by Rouben Ter-Arutunian (based on the 1941 production) and new costumes by Karinska; 1973 (titled Piano Concerto No. 2, then Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2), staged without scenery, with new costumes by Karinska (classical tutus replaced by chiffon skirts), and lighting by Ronald Bates.

Video/DVD: 2005, Zeitgeist Films, Ballets Russes (excerpt).

See also: 193   349   382  

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