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25. ENIGMA



Music: By Anton Arensky (The Exit of Cleopatra from Egyptian Nights, Op. 50, produced 1900).

Choreography: By George Balanchine.

Premiere: 1923?

Cast: Lydia Ivanova, George Balanchine.

Note: Danced in bare feet. Slonimsky quotes Pёtr Gusev recalling that 'in this piece for the first time a woman arched into a "bridge"' (Slonimsky, p. 67). Although no documentation has been found, Balanchine later believed that he and Ivanova originally performed the work. He and Tamara Geva danced it at a benefit at the State Theater of Opera and Ballet (formerly Maryinsky); there are also records of their performing it in the floorshow at the Donon Restaurant in Petrograd on September 29, 1923. The work was danced by Geva and Balanchine during the Principal Dancers of the Russian State Ballet tour of Germany in the summer of 1924, at the Empire Theatre in London that October, and in audition for Diaghilev later that autumn in Paris. It was performed by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes at least three times in 1925 on programs of divertissements in the Nouvelle Salle de Musique (Salle Ganne) in the Casino at Monte Carlo. The work was still performed in the Soviet Union during the 1930s. Enigma is Balanchine's title for the work.

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