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Theme & variations


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On browsing the NYCB webpage, I was surprised to learn that the above ballet was first presented by Ballet Theatre (and not by a Balanchine company). Does anyone know if Balachine was engaged as a choreographer by Ballet Theater for other works,or if his only work during that period was this "Theme & Variations"? To my knowledge, he was engaged in various enterprises, but, honestly :( , I had never read that he was worked extensively for Ballet Theater.

Thanks so much

Silvy

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On browsing the NYCB webpage, I was surprised to learn that the above ballet was first presented by Ballet Theatre (and not by a Balanchine company).  Does anyone know if Balachine was engaged as a choreographer by Ballet Theater for other works,or if his only work during that period was this "Theme & Variations"? To my knowledge, he was engaged in various enterprises, but, honestly  :(  , I had never read that he was worked extensively for Ballet Theater.

Thanks so much

Silvy

Silvy,

It was a commision, Balanchine seemed to resist having a regular relationship with Ballet Theatre, I gather he was happier being a free agent and having control of what was emerging as NYCB.

Balanchine choreographed this piece, like many of his other ones, with great speed, if I remember correctly, something like 39 hours of rehearsal time.

No T&V wasn't his only piece during that period, it was quite a busy period he had about 8 or so other ballets premiere that year.

But T&V is my favorite of all Balanchine ballets, hopefully I will see it next week with ABT

Richard

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i don't think Balanchine got on well w/ lucia chase, but he was at one point or other(s) reportedly toying w/ the idea of being a resident choreographer for Ballet Theatre as it was then know.

the only other ballet, besides THEME AND VARIATIONS, that he created for BT (not ABT) was WALTZ ACADEMY, as follows:

Waltz academy Chor: George Balanchine; mus: Vittorio Rieti; scen: Oliver Smith; cos: Alvin Colt. First perf: Boston, Opera House, Oct 5, 1944; Ballet Theatre.//First New York perf: Metropolitan Opera House, Oct 11, 1944; Ballet Theatre.

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Another T & V question, if Silvy will pardon me.

I read somewhere one section of T&V is known among Balanchine dancers by the rather delightful name of Scrambled Eggs, and of course I am curious which part it is.

Maybe someone can tell me?

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i'm sure a dancer could confirm or deny or elaborate the understanding i've had over the years of the 'scrambled eggs' moniker: i believe this nickname refers not to the ballet itself but to the ballerina's solo, which is so fast and in which the double pirouettes and pas de chats etc. have a 'scrambling' effect.

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I imagine the "scrambled eggs" refers to all the gargouillades the ballerina must perform. To quote Kay Ambrose: "You do so much with your feet that you don't know what you've done."

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Did the ballerina always have gargouillades to perform? I seem to remember Croce saying somewhere that Balanchine added them for Kirkland, but my memory could be off.

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