Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Balanchine before Serenade

Recommended Posts

Two intriguing glimpses at early Balanchine works that I found posted on the Jacob's Pillow Interactive website – 


"Apollo" as done by San Francisco Ballet in 1956 with Conrad Ludlow –  and maybe how the 1937 version with Lew Christensen looked:




"Shepherd's hornpipe" from "The Gods Go a-Begging". Choreographed by Balanchine just after "Apollo" in 1928, with Alexandra Danilova and Leon Woizikowsky. Here with Nora Kaye and Hugh Laing, who first danced the role in 1930. Very nice natural quality to the performances I think.




Link to comment

Danilova describes The Gods on pages 100-101 of her autobiography (but there's too much for me to reproduce here).


I'm always wondering where the film of Cotillion went to - a portion of it appears in the Balanchine American Masters program.


'The eminent critic Edwin Denby called "Cotillon" the glory of the company's repertory and wrote that "this piece profoundly affected the imagination of the young people of my generation."

In her book "De Basil's Ballets Russes," Katherine Sorley Walker wrote: " 'Cotillon' has haunted the memory of everyone who saw it. Many feel that it should be revived."

Balanchine himself was clearly not among those "many." "He talked about the ballet, but he never talked about bringing it back," recalls Barbara Horgan, the late choreographer's longtime assistant and the administrator of the George Balanchine Trust.'



La Valse re-purposed some of the choreography, and perhaps there are bits and pieces reused elsewhere too, so that may be the reason why Balanchine was willing to let go.

Link to comment

Yes there was a nice spinning Kodachrome clip of "Cotillion" (Ann Barzel's photography?) in the Balanchine biography. Christian Bernard's designs were an important element the ballet, his gloved look to become "the New Look" in 1947. Arlene Croce somewhere has a discussion on the waltz ballets and on horse imagery in "Cotillion."


Balanchine's choreography for Les Ballets 1933


Here is an uncredited video on the sets and costumes, with one or two clips. A very productive project for Balanchine. It includes:


"Mozartiana" - Tchaikovsky - Christian Berard (borrowing a bit from Picasso saltimbanques of 1904/5).


"Les Songes" - Milhaud - Andre Derain


"Fastes" - Sauguet - Derain


"L’Errante" - Schubert - Pavel Tchelitchew


"Beethoven Waltzes" - arranged by Nicolas Nabokov - Emilio Terry


Les Ballets 1933 materials begin about 6:30 -




And more Nora Kaye – in everyday life, from 8mm home movie footage of the late forties. Footage begins at 3:30 -






Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...