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The rich history of American ballet is celebrated in classic works by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, two choreographic giants of the 20th century. Apollo brought Balanchine together for the first time with composer Igor Stravinsky. Their creation for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1928 remains a masterpiece of neoclassicism in its striking depiction of the young god of music and his three muses. Balanchine’s effervescent Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux breathes life into a long-lost movement from Tchaikovsky’s original score for Swan Lake. Created in 1960 for virtuoso New York City Ballet dancers Violette Verdy and Conrad Ludlow, its thrilling technical challenges are still relished by performers today.
Jerome Robbins, a contemporary of Balanchine, played a crucial role in the development of American ballet but was also as an influential figure on Broadway. His 1969 ballet Dances at a Gathering, to music by Chopin, is an ode to pure dance. As Robbins himself described it: ‘There are no stories to any of the dances in Dances at a Gathering. There are no plots and no roles. The dancers are themselves dancing with each other to that music in that place.’ While plotless, the ballet's intimacy creates a powerful sense of community, which promises to resonate with audiences and dancers again following its revival in 2020 just before lockdown.
Live performance is a shared experience, and our audiences are at the heart of what we do on our stages, backstage, online, in cinemas and in our communities. This year’s global pandemic has affected all arts organisations across the world. We have lost £3 in every £5 of our income, and any Government loan will take us only part of the way. We need your help to bring artists back to our stages. Please consider making a donation to the Royal Opera House Recovery Campaign.
You can make a donation here.
Season Principal Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet
Generous philanthropic support from Julia and Hans Rausing and the JP Jacobs Charitable Trust
Generous philanthropic support from Lindsay and Sarah Tomlinson
The 2020/21 Ballet Season is generously supported by Aud Jebsen.
Streaming generously supported by The Foyle Foundation.
The performances of Apollo and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, both Balanchine ballets, are presented by arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust and have been produced in accordance with the Balanchine Style® and Balanchine Technique®. Choreography George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust.
Dances at a Gathering performed by permission of The Robbins Rights Trust.