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Giannina wrote: "I wish I could see Liebeslieder the way Leigh sees it."

Me too, although I'd settle for seeing it at all! I know Liebeslieder has been compared to Davidsbunderlertanze, which I did see once, and without having any idea beforehand what I was in for. It's not something I would have expected to like a lot had I known, but it absolutely thrilled me, and I have a feeling that the cast I saw (this was '91) wasn't among the best. So .... Leigh, Manhattanik, anyone, I guess Davidsbundlertanze is not supposed to be in the same league as Liebeslieder, but how would you compare the "perfume" of two ballets? Does the Schumann lend itself to characterizations as rich as the Brahms? By my side as I write I have the video, which features, if I’m not mistaken, three of the four original couples. Memories and impressions of that original cast would be most welcome!


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I am very fond of Davidsbundlertanze, since it is the first Balanchine ballet I really got. I had usually enjoyed the patterns and dancing (especially the after-Petipa ones), but at a performance of Davidsbundlertanze I finally realized that the steps were really saying things, not in words of course, but conveying specific emotions. Each couple dances differently, and in both parts (the character shoes and the toes shoes) the dialogue continued. It seems to me that the couples in Davidsbunderlertanze are aspects of the same person at different stages, and that the couples in Liebeslieder was different people. I do think th e general critical opinion is that Liebeslieder is the stronger work, and (when it is well cast), I could watch it forever. But to me Davidsbundertanze is special. Mary

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I haven't seen Davidsbundlertanze since it left repertory (which feels like quite a while ago) and I recall liking it a great deal, but the feeling you leave the theater with is totally different than Liebeslieder.

Davidsbundlertanze is similar superficially to Liebeslieder (same cast, radical departure from the usual Balanchine ballet) but for me, the significant difference is in purpose, and yes perfume.

Liebeslieder concerns itself with a social framework - Davidsbundlertanze is about the mind of Robert Schumann and the line of an artist - Liebeslieder is serene and delicate, Davidsbundlertanze is more anguished, sometimes overwrought.

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