kfw

How many Balanchine ballets have you seen?

30 posts in this topic

Did anyone see the performance of Balanchine's À la Françaix, danced last weekend by the Eglevsky Ballet? Does anyone remember seeing it when it was new in 1951? In his review Alastair Macaulay asks

How many ballets by George Balanchine have you seen? My own tally — counting both items as short as the “Tschaikovsky pas de deux” and as long as the three-part “Jewels” as one each — is over 60. And though I began watching them in his lifetime, I have also seen all but one of them since his death. Surely no choreographer now dead has left so large a store of work in repertory.

After reading that I just had to make my own tally, and with Kirstein's Thirty Years and Nancy Reynolds' Repertory in Review as supplemental memory aids, I counted 62, including only works I've seen in the theater and in full, and counting Jewels as one ballet and Ballet Imperial and Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto # 2 as one ballet. My count includes a number of rarities revived by Suzanne Farrell for her company, but I have never seen Le Tombeau de Couperin, Coppelia, Harlequinade, or (in the theater) Allegro Brilliante. I'm kicking myself for passing up a chance to see Pavanne on a Saturday afternoon in New York, but then I'd seen four NYCB performances in a row and had two more to go, and New York has other charms.

Since this is the silly season on Ballet Talk, when most companies are on vacation or touring, and a ballet starved brain turns to . . . well, making lists in my case, if anyone else is feeling obsessive-compulsive, I'd love to see your own totals. I'll bet there are people here whose counts easily reach into the 80's. For a list of all Balanchine ballets -- at least according to wikipedia -- go here.

Share this post


Link to post

*The Nutcracker

*Raymonda Variations

*Theme and Variations

*Tschaikovsky pas de deux

*Symphony in C

*Sylvia pas de deux

*La Sonnambula

*Jewels

Share this post


Link to post

Live: 31

In Cuba:

Theme and Variations

Waltz Academy

Apollo

Sylvia PDD

Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux

Ballo della Regina

In US

Serenade

Symphony in C

The Nutcracker

Swan Lake

Pas de Dix

Bourree Fantasque

Who Cares?

Square Dance

Symphony in Three Movements

Monumentum pro Gesualdo

Movements for Piano and Orchestra

Mozartiana

-Emeralds-(Jewels)

-Rubies-(Jewels)

-Diamonds-(Jewels)

Divertimento # 15

Valse Fantaisie-(1953)

Slaughter in 10th Ave.

Allegro Brillante

Concerto Barocco

Ballet Imperial

The Four Temperaments

Sonatine

Tarantella

La Valse

Share this post


Link to post

75.

Being truthful.

Nor counting Harlequinade pd2 and Harlequinade separately.

Using Wikipedia as too lazy to get my books to reference dates.

Share this post


Link to post

For a list of all Balanchine ballets -- at least according to wikipedia -- go here.

Please don't rely on Wikipedia when other, much more reliable sources are available. (Some colleges now ban the use of Wikipedia as a research reference, as it is so unreliable.)

Better options:

The George Balanchine Trust:

http://www.balanchine.com/content/site/ballets

I'd also suggest the NYCB site listing all repertory (although Balanchine is mixed in with everybody else, it does include works no longer performed, even the "legendary" PAMTGG, which is omitted from the Trust site, interestingly):

http://www.nycballet.com/company/rep.html

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for the better links, California. And thanks for the totals, Rosa, cubanmiamiboy, and Juliet. Juliet, I'm envious! cubanmiamiboy, it's interesting that you saw Waltz Academy in Cuba, since the ballet is such a rarity it isn't even listed by the Balanchine Trust. I see that it was made for Ballet Theatre.

Share this post


Link to post

46

Counting Jewels as 3 pieces.

Midsummer Night's Dream

Agon

Allegro Brillante

Apollo

Ballet Imperial

Ballo della Regina

Bourree Fantasque

Brahms Schoenberg Quartet

Chaconne

Concerto Barocco

Coppelia

Cortege Hongrois

Davidsbundlertanze

Diamonds

Emeralds

Rubies

Divertimento No. 15

Duo Concertant

The Nutcracker

Harlequinade

La Sonnambula

La Valse

La Source

Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme

Liebeslieder Walzer

Mozartiana

Prodigal Son

Pulcinella

Scotch Symphony

Serenade

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

Square Dance

Stars and Stripes

Sylvia Pas de Deux

Symphony in C

Tarantella

The Four Temperaments

The Steadfast Tin Soldier

Theme and Variations

Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux

Tzigane

Valse Fantaisie

Vienna Waltzes

Western Symphony

Who Cares?

and Persephone, which isn't on the trust's list.

Share this post


Link to post

Live: 63, counting each of Emeralds/Diamonds/Rubies, Le Palais de Cristal/Symphony in C, Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3/Theme and Variations, and Ballet Imperial/Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 as "1".

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you so much, kfw, for this topic. I'm sure I am not alone in being grateful for this opportunity actually to ADD UP all our Balanchine ballets. :clapping:

My rough estimate: 71.

This counts one Noah and the Flood (made for tv) and Princess Zenobia, which I've only seen in the film "On Your Toes." My NYCB experience ran from 1956 to shortly after Balanchine's death. I've followed Miami since 2001. It helped to use Rep. in Review for reminders. Some ballets -- Tricolore, for example -- I had completely forgotten until I read the brief description. (Edited to add: I've deleted Tricolore at Jack Reed's suggestion. But I added Glinka Pas de Trois, by MCB. So the total remains the same. :)) Others -- occasional pieces -- I've forgotten entirely.

Agon

Allegro Brillante

Apollo (long and short versions)

Ballet Imperial

Ballo della Regina

le Bourgeois Gentilhomme

Brahms-Schoenberg

Bugaku

Chaconne

Concerto Barocco

Coppelia

Divertimento No. 15

Donizetti Variations

Don Quixote

Elegie

l'Enfant et les Sortileges

Episodes (with and without the Graham section)

Figure in the Carpet

Firebird

Four Temperaments

Glinka Pas de Trois (Added later; reminded by Jack's list.)

Glinkiana

Harliquinade

Ivesiana

Jeu de Cartes

Jewels

Liebeslieder Walzer

Matastaseis & Pithoprakta

Midsummer Night's Dream

Monumentum pro Guesualdo

Mozartiana

Noah and the Flood (tv)

Nutcracker

Orpheus

PAMTGG

Persephone

Princess Zenobia Ballet from "On Your Toes"

Prodigal Son

Pulcinella

Raymonda Variations (and Cortege Hongrois)

Ragtime

Requiem Canticles

Scherzo a la Russe

Scotch Symphony

Serenade

Seven Deadly Sins

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

Sonatine

La Sonnambula

Square Dance

Stars and Stripes

Stravinsky Violin Concerto

Steadfast Tin Soldier

Swan Lake Act II

Sylvia Pas de Deux

Symphony in C

Symphony in Three MOvements

Symphony of Psalms

Tarantella

Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux

Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3

Theme and Variations

Tombeau de Couperin

Tricolore

Union Jack

La Valse

Valse Fantaisie (both versions)

Vienna Waltzes

Walpurgisnacht

Western Symphony

Who Cares?

Share this post


Link to post

About 47 of them. Would trade a dozen or so to have seen the six ballets of Les Ballets 1933, including the first version of Mozartiana -- also Cotillion of 1932.

Share this post


Link to post

I'd love to see Cotillon, also Figure in the Carpet!

Share this post


Link to post

About 47 of them. Would trade a dozen or so to have seen the six ballets of Les Ballets 1933, including the first version of Mozartiana -- also Cotillion of 1932.

And I know which ones I'd trade in a heartbeat: "Steadfast Tin Soldier", "Western Symphony", Variations pour une porte et un soupir", "Kammermusik Nr. 2", "Gounod Symphony", "Meditation", "Tzigane", "Pavane", "Variations for Orchestra", "Scherzo a la Russe", "Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3" (if we get to keep "Theme and Variations"). Without Stanley Williams around to coach the young 'uns, "Bournonville Divertissement" would be my 12th.

I'd love to see Cotillon, also Figure in the Carpet!

From the clips of Diana Adams in the Balanchine bio "Figure in the Carpet" is at the top of my list, too.

Share this post


Link to post

Helene:

And I know which ones I'd trade in a heartbeat

I'd go along with that trade-in list, maybe along with Walpurgisnacht, and part four only of Brahms-Schoenberg, which is always too rich. I usually feel guilty about not liking the first parts of Suite no. 3, but all its gauziness does make T&V even more brilliant.

I'm also always astonished by the "needlepoint work" in Figure in the Carpet whenever I see the Diana Adams clips.

Share this post


Link to post

Wow! What wonderful totals! Mine is small in comparison, 22, but I'm working on it:

Agon

Allegro Brillante

Apollo

Ballet Imperial

Ballo della Regina

Chaconne

Concerto Barocco

Cortege Hongrois

Donizetti Variations

Jewels

La Sonnambula

Liebeslieder Walzer

Mozartiana

The Nutcracker

Prodigal Son

Serenade

Slaughter on 10th Avenue

Square Dance

Stravinsky Violin Concerto

Symphony in C

Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux

Theme and Variations

Companies: New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Kirov/Maryinsky Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet

Along with listing the ballets individually, I'm curious about the other ballet companies who dance Balanchine's works. Besides the American companies run by former Balanchine dancers, like Pacific Northwest and Miami City Ballet, what have companies outside of the Balanchine tradition brought to his work?

Share this post


Link to post

I agree that Cotillon, based on everything I've read, is definitely one I'd love to see.

As to Figure in the Carpet, I wish I had paid more attention and watched more intently. I saw this on a weekend home from school. All I remember was that everyone was in it and that it was a big, colorful cornucopia of a production, on a much larger scale (and more elaborately decorated) than anything I had seen NYCB do up to then. I was surprised at the use of Handel, quite different from the music I was used to at NYCB.

As someone who idealized ballets like Agon, I confess that I was overwhelmed and confused by the profligacy of it all. Is it possible to have TOO much creativity? Too much invention? Too much visual stimulation? Emperor Josef's "Too many notes" comment to Mozart comes to mind.

I think I missed most of the dance details. Of the individuals, I remember only Villella in a bravura, jumping variation, and Arthur Mitchell (one of my NYCB heroes) as an African prince dancing with a beautiful black partner.

Share this post


Link to post
Of the individuals, I remember only Villella in a bravura, jumping variation, and Arthur Mitchell (one of my NYCB heroes) as an African king (I think) dancing with a beautiful black partner.

Thanks for those glimpses, bart, and it's the latter image I wish I could call to mind myself. I can't remember ever seeing, on stage or in reproduction, an African-American NYCB partnership.

DanceActress, do keep working, and keep us up to date! But that's a marvelous list already.

As for me, I've been scanning these lists and pulling out old programs hoping to find ballets I'd missed listing. Success! I'm up to 64.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks, bart, for even that impression of Carpet. It gives me the idea of a densely-woven stage picture, maybe like we wouldn't get again until Union Jack?

The Joffrey Ballet has offered a version of Cotillon, although some doubt the authenticity of it, but I enjoy the deftness of the action as well as the characteristic depth of response to the musical thought at each moment. (They've never nearly adequately cast the central Hand of Fate pas de deux that I've seen, making it more conscientiously indicated than actually realized, leaving you to add the missing dimension. Watching it's a good time, though.)

I question the inclusion of Tricolore here. The Trust list excludes it, and the NYCB list only says Balanchine "conceived and supervised" it:

http://www.nycballet.com/company/rep.html?rep=424

I recall it was reported to be rather a mess. Anyway, I never saw it.

As to my total number? Hmm. I may have to take my shoes off to count that high...

Share this post


Link to post

Holy CRAP!! I've seen 64 of Balanchine's ballets. Incredible! Unless noted I've seen them all with the New York City Ballet.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Agon

Allegro Brillante

Apollo

Ballet Imperial - American Ballet Theatre

Ballo della Regina

Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet

Bugaku - Dance Theater of Harlem

Chaconne

Concerto Barocco

Coppélia

Cortège Hongrois

Divertimento from "Le Baiser De La Fée"

Divertimento No. 15

Donizetti Variations

Duo Concertant

Episodes

Firebird

Garland Dance

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

Harlequinade

Ivesiana

Jewels

Kammermusik No. 2

La Sonnambula

La Source

La Valse

Le Tombeau de Couperin

Liebeslieder Walzer

Monumentum Pro Gesualdo

Movements for Piano and Orchestra

Mozartiana

Orpheus

Pas de Trois (Glinka) - Miami City Ballet

Pavane

Prodigal Son

Raymonda Variations

Robert Schumann's "Davidsbündlertänze"

Scherzo à la Russe

Scotch Symphony

Serenade

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

Sonatine

Square Dance

Stars and Stripes

Stravinsky Violin Concerto

Swan Lake (Act II)

Sylvia Pas de Deux - American Ballet Theatre

Symphonie Concertante - American Ballet Theatre

Symphony in C

Symphony in Three Movements

Tarantella

The Four Temperaments

The Steadfast Tin Soldier

Theme and Variations

Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux

Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2

Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3

Union Jack

Valse-Fantaisie

Vienna Waltzes

Walpurgisnacht Ballet

Western Symphony

Who Cares?

Share this post


Link to post

This is a great topic! Would it be possible, later on, to start a new thread on "How Many Times Have You Seen X"? I know Cristian's mom has more than 50 Giselles. I'm sure many on this board to equal or even exceed that, whether with classics and -- for BT people -- Balanchine.

I can't remember ever seeing, on stage or in reproduction, an African-American NYCB partnership.

This itself could be a fascinating thread of its own. You made me question my memory, so I checked Nancy Reynolds. I found that this section was called "The Oni of Ife and his Consort." The lady was Mary Hinkson of the Martha Graham Company. I'm sure that is why this unprecedent ed pairing stands out in my memory. One got used to seeing Mitchell as the single black person on stage, in those pre-Civil Rights Movement days, that the appearance of a black partner made a major impression.

Reynolds quotes Walter Terry (NY Herald Tribune): "Striking duet, exceptionally lively but very majestic." Funny how memory works, but I remember the majesty (and dignity) of the dancers, though not the "liveliness."

As for me, I've been scanning these lists and pulling out old programs hoping to find ballets I'd missed listing. Success! I'm up to 64.
I envy you and all all who have retained their programs. Alas, my NYC collection did not make the cut when we moved to Florida ("Land of No Basements").

Share this post


Link to post

Holy CRAP!! I've seen 64 of Balanchine's ballets. Incredible!

:P That was my response too! I tallied up 71 and just couldn't believe it was that many.

Share this post


Link to post
I know Cristian's mom has more than 50 Giselles.

...and I surpass her... :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post

Making my list turned out to be easier and more fun than I thought at first! So, thanks for the idea, kfw. Here's my list:

Agon

Allegro Brillante

Apollo

Ballade

Ballo della Regina

Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme

Bourrée Fantasque

Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet

Bugaku

Chaconne

Clarinade (Contrapuntal Blues)*

Concerto Barocco

Concierto de Mozart (Adagio)**

Coppélia

Cortège Hongrois

Davidsbündlertänze

Divertimento Brillante*

Divertimento from "Le Baiser De La Fée"

Divertimento No. 15

Don Quixote

Donizetti Variations

Duo Concertant

Elégie

Episodes

Firebird

The Four Temperaments

Garland Dance

Glinka Pas de Trois**

Gounod Symphony

Haieff Divertimento*

Harlequinade

Ivesiana

Jewels

Kammermusik No. 2

Liebeslieder Walzer

Meditation

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Monumentum Pro Gesualdo/

Movements for Piano and Orchestra

Mozartiana

The Nutcracker

Orpheus

PAMTGG

Pas de Dix

Pavane

Persephone

Pithoprakta**

Prodigal Son

Pulcinella

Raymonda Variations

Scherzo à la Russe

Scotch Symphony

Serenade

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

Sonatine

La Sonnambula

La Source

Square Dance (1957)*

Square Dance (1976)

Stars and Stripes

The Steadfast Tin Soldier

Stravinsky Violin Concerto

Swan Lake

Symphonie Concertante

Symphony in C

Symphony in Three Movements

Tarantella

Le Tombeau de Couperin

Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux

Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2

Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3

Tzigane

Union Jack

La Valse

Valse-Fantaisie (1953)*

Valse-Fantaisie (1967)

Variations Pour une Porte et un Soupir

Vienna Waltzes

Walpurgisnacht Ballet

Western Symphony

Who Cares?

* means I saw it only in performances without Balanchine's supervision. If I can count, these are 80** titles.

** added in the light of comments from kfw and bart just below; initially, I had relied entirely on the Balanchine Trust list, rather than go through my programs or something like that.

Edited by Jack Reed

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for posting, everyone. I've enjoyed seeing the lists, so I might as well post my own. Jack, I notice that you, like me, don't list the "Adagio from Concierto de Mozart," which Farrell revived in 2007. (Actually, you forgot "Pithoprakta" too. :) ). Likewise, I don't list "The Unanswered Question," because it's all I've seen of "Ivesiana." I do remember now that I've seen "Allegro Brilliante."

Ballo della Regina

Prodigal Son

Symphony in C

Agon

Vienna Waltzes

Mozartiana

Apollo

La Valse

La Somnambula

Tchaikovsky pas de Deux

Pas de Dix

Stars and Stripes

Union Jack

Stravinsky Violin Concerto

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Serenade

Concerto Barocco

Four Temperaments

Variations

Tzigane

Theme and Variations

Ballet Imperial/Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto # 2

The Nutcracker

Western Symphony

Square Dance

Donizetti Variations

Firebird

Jewels

Valse Fantasie

La Source

Clarinade

Pithoprakta

Symphony in Three Movements

Duo Concertant

Divertimento from “La Baiser de La Fee”

Orpheus

Swan Lake

Who Cares

Don Quixote

Tarentella

Symphonie Concertante

Haieff Divertimento

Monumentum pro Gesualdo

Movements for Piano and Orchestra

Scotch Symphony

Sylvia pas de Deux

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

Steadfast Tin Soldier

Ragtime

Raymonda Variations

Liebeslieder Walzer

Episodes

Davidsbundlertanze

Kammermusik # 2

Divertimento # 15

Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet

Bugaku

Chaconne

Sonatine

Walpurgisnacht Ballet

Ballade

Meditiation

Divertimento Brilliante

Allegro Brilliante

Share this post


Link to post

Jack, your list is truly impressive, with several rarities I hadn't even heard of. Looking them up has added to my Balanchine education.

I question the inclusion of Tricolore here. The Trust list excludes it, and the NYCB list only says Balanchine "conceived and supervised" it:

I agree with your conclusion and have deleted it from my original post.

On the other hand, your list reminded me about MCB's Glinka Pas de Trois, so I've been able to add that, thus retaining my total.

Any more Balanchine enumerations? Even if you're a relative Balanchine beginner, it's fascinating to revisit what one has seen. For me, list-making has always been an essential early step in the process of reviving memory.

Share this post


Link to post

I can't count well... I keep getting mixed up, but I took out my Balanchine Festival Tee shirt and started counting on that.... but got mixed up. Someday I'll get out my "Choreography by Balanchine," and start counting, but, as I said, I lose count and get mixed up.

I'm glad someone mentioned "Noah and the Flood," which I saw on TV, as I did one of Mr. B's versions of "The Spellbound Child," Those had to be in the very early 80's.

So----- Do films versions count as a separate ballet (eg, "Midsummer's)? Does the Peter Martins revival of "On Your Toes," back in 1983, (I saw it twice!!) with all those wonderful ballet and tap numbers count? Do the short pieces done for TV (such as the short duets with Maria Tallchief and Jacques d'Amboise) count? We're on a very slippery slope here! But it's fun to try and climb up, isn't it?

Regarding "Figure in the Carpet," after the Balanchine bio was produced on PBS which showed that intriguing segment, and in the few years following his death, I went to many seminars/lectures/talks at NYU, the Met Museum, the Museum of TV and Broadcasting, etc. and the question of who could mount a revival of "Figure in the Carpet" was brought up several times. Each time the answer was the same: no one remembers enough about it to put it back together again. Our very own Humpty Dumpty.

Share this post


Link to post