A look at Tchaikovsky's ballets
by Robert Sandla in Playbill.
The dance scores that Tschaikovsky composed are ballet’s Big Three, a troika of works that virtually defined the art form. As choreographer George Balanchine once observed, “If it were not for Tschaikovsky, there wouldn’t be any dancing.” Tschaikovsky rewrote the rules on ballet music, and proved that music for dancing can be serious, densely organized, and wildly poetic. his radiant melodic gift, rhythmic sweep, and richly varied orchestrations provide immediate impetus for movement (just try to not get caught up in one of his waltzes), and his solos are boons to ballerinas everywhere. Instead of being just a series of variously charming or colorful numbers—the string-of-pearls approach standard in his era—Tschaikovsky’s scores are structurally and thematically integrated.....