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Balanchine Catalogue
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Igor Stravinsky (Ragtime for Eleven Instruments, 1918)
George Balanchine
July 15, 1966, Philharmonic Hall, New York. Conductor: Richard Dufallo. (First New York City Ballet performance January 17, 1967, New York State Theater.)
Suzanne Farrell, Arthur Mitchell
Performance Type
See Also
Additional Productions

2008   Suzanne Farrell Ballet

George Balanchine
Performance Type
Concert Works/Ballet
See Also
As a young man, Balanchine frequently created, as he said, ‘informal little things,’ performed once or twice and then forgotten. Among these were compositions to music by Nicolai Medtner and to excerpts from Salome by Richard Strauss. He also remembered making ‘something new’ to Chopin (or to the ‘Chopin’ section of Schumann’s Carnaval) for a ‘soirée.’ Alexandra Danilova remembered a solo waltz dedicated to her to music Balanchine composed. She also recalled a solo for her to Scriabin (not the Étude pas de deux [30]; Danilova, p. 62), Slonimsky mentions that Balanchine choreographed dances to vocal music and poetry around 1921, and Kostrovitskaya recalled an ‘adagio with high lifts’ (music unknown) for Balanchine and Geva at the first performance of the Young Ballet (perhaps Enigma [25]; Slonimsky, pp. 48, 63). There is a possibility that Balanchine choreographed a pas de deux called Dutch Dance to the music of Grieg, but both he and Danilova thought it equally possible that this dance, which appears on the programs for London performances of the Principal Dancers of the Russian State Ballet in 1924, might have been from Albert Lortzing’s opera Zar und Zimmermann, with choreography by Pavel Petrov or Andrei Lopukhov. In published interviews, Balanchine mentioned other early works: a ballet for eight boys in the Fokine style, done while he was still a student (Dance Magazine, June 1954, p. 148), a ballet to Stravinsky’s Ragtime in 1922 (New York City Center: Playbill I:10, December 2, 1957), and concert dances to music by Schumann (Washington Post, October 12, 1980).
Source Notes

Full documentation of Balanchine’s activities before he left the Soviet Union in 1924 is not possible. Printed programs of official performances at the Maryinsky Theater and Imperial Theater School in St. Petersburg exist, but none have been found for the performances given by the Young Ballet; a single poster announcing the opening concert is in the Museum of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet. (The Maryinsky Theater was known as the State Maryinsky Theater between 1918 and 1920 and from 1920 to 1935 as the Petrograd/Leningrad State Academic Theater for Opera and Ballet. It was then called the Kirov Theater until 1991 when it again became the Maryinsky. The Imperial Theater School was renamed the Petrograd Theater School in 1918. Today it is the Vaganova School of Russian Ballet.) Research was carried out in Russia by Elizabeth Souritz (Moscow Institute of the History of the Arts) and the late Vera Krasovskaya (St. Petersburg, State Academy of Theater Art) and by Gunhild Schüller of the Institut für Theaterwissenschaft, University of Vienna, who visited Moscow and St. Petersburg in 1981. Major printed resources consulted were the newspapers Krasnaya gazeta and Zhizn iskusstva, the periodicals Teatr and Teatr i iskusstvo, and the weeklies of the Petrograd/Leningrad State Academic Theaters (Ezhenedel’nik petrogradskikh gosudarstvenniykh akademicheskikh teatrov; Ezhenedel’nik teatrov v Leningrade). Records 1-35 are based on the research of Souritz, Krasovskaya, and Schüller, on interviews conducted with Pëtr Gusev in St. Petersburg (Poel Karp, 1980) and with Balanchine, Alexandra Danilova, and Tamara Geva in New York (Nancy Reynolds and Gunhild Schüller, 1979-81), and on material from publications cited in full in the BIBLIOGRAPHY: Balanchine’s Complete Stories of the Great Ballets, Alexandra Danilova’s Choura, Tamara Geva’s Split Seconds, I Remember Balanchine (Francis Mason, ed., containing Yuri Slonimsky’s essay ‘Balanchine: The Early Years’ and the recollections of Geva, Danilova, and Stukolkina), the Maryinsky Theater’s exhibition catalogue Vek Balanchina – The Balanchine Century, 1904-2004, Mikhail Mikhailov’s My Life in Ballet, Natalia Roslavleva’s Era of the Russian Ballet, Bernard Taper’s Balanchine: A Biography, Robert Tracy’s Balanchine’s Ballerinas, and A.E. Twysden’s Alexandra Danilova.