George Balanchine Essay, Research Paper


One of the most of import and influential people in the universe of concert dance is George Balanchine. He became a fable long before he died. He brought the criterions of dance up to a degree that had ne’er been seen before, and he created a new audience for concert dance. Balanchine was one of the greatest and most fecund choreographers in concert dance history, choreographing at least 300 concert dances ; he was rivaled in measure merely by Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa.

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At the age of nine he started developing at the Imperial School in St. Petersburg. He seldom saw his household because they lived far off and he became the ward of Grigory Grigorevich, who was in charge of the school. There Balanchine performed his first function as Cupid in Sleeping Beauty. During the Russian Revolution in 1917, the Imperial School closed and the pupils were put out on the street. Balanchine was cut off from his household in the Caucasus, and was taken in to populate with Mr. Grigorevich. The school did reopen and Balanchine graduated in 1921. He so joined the Soviet State Ballet. Upon graduation Balanchine married Geva, a fellow pupil whom he had met in the dance hall dancing category. Geva described her hubby as a cross between a poet and a general.

In order to hold his stage dancing seen, Blanchine organized a little company called The Young Ballet, to execute at halturas ( staff of life and butter occupations ) . At the Maryinsky, Balanchine had been assigned to present the emanation in Rimski-Korsakoff & # 8217 ; s opera Coq d & # 8217 ; Or, and what he devised, although beautiful, tattered tradition. The company tried to re-train him, but he wouldn & # 8217 ; t conform. His stage dancing continued to be controversial, so the board at the Maryinsky Theater dismissed him from the company. They besides threatened all of Blanchine & # 8217 ; s terpsichoreans with the same destiny if they continued to dance for him.

In 1924, with Vladimir Dimitriev & # 8217 ; s assist, Balanchine, Tamara Geva, Nicholas Efimov, and Alexandra Danilova formed the Soviet State Dancers, and were allowed to tour Germany during the Maryinsky holiday. They decided non to return to Russia, but to desert and travel to England. The little company did so ill in London that they were bought out of their contracts. They so went to Paris in hopes of happening work. Serge Diaghilev heard of this Russian company and sent for them. He hired the four terpsichoreans, and besides allowed Dimitriev to work for the company. Diaghilev thought the Georgian & # 8217 ; s name Balanchivadze was excessively hard to articulate and alter it to Balanchine. Diaghilev was instantly impressed with Balanchine & # 8217 ; s originative concert dances and wanted him to choreograph for the opera in Monte Carlo. For the Ballets Russes he created Apollo in 1928 and The Prodigal Son in 1929, which have remained Blanchine & # 8217 ; s signature pieces to this twenty-four hours. In 1926 Geva divorced him and went to America, and Alexandra Danilova became his & # 8220 ; unofficial & # 8221 ; married woman.

In 1929, while still with the Diaghilev company. Balanchine choreographed and danced in Dark Red Roses, the first speaking gesture image in England. It was at this clip that Balanchine heard of Diaghilev & # 8217 ; s decease, go forthing him and the full Ballets Russes without work.

George Balanchine yesteryear successes found him work as a choreographer in London, Copenhagen, Paris and besides for a new company in Monte Carlo under the sponsorship of the Monaco Royal House. Rene Blum and Colonel William de Basil were the showman and manager of the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. Balanchine was fired from the Blum & # 8211 ; De Basil company because of his irregular stage dancing and was replaced by Leonide Massine. In 1933 Balanchine formed his ain company, Les Ballet 1933. It opened to hapless reappraisals in Paris and gave merely 20 public presentations in England.

It was in England that he met his hereafter helper, Lincoln Kirstein, a affluent immature American. Kirstein, with his friend Edward M.M.Warburg, invited Balanchine and Vladimir Dimitriev to come to America in order to open a concert dance school in Hartford, Conn. , far off from the temptations of Broadway. Since the phase at the Hartford Museum was excessively little for concert dance public presentations Balanchine refused the offer.

Kirstein searched the island of Manhattan until he found an appropriate topographic point. The School of American Ballet ( SAB ) opened at 59th Street and Madison Avenue on January 1, 1934. At first there were merely big pupils, and the school operated in concurrence with Catherine and Dorothy Littlefield, who already had a company in Philadelphia and had been on a European circuit. Dorothy taught at SAB. Harold and Lew Christensen were among the pupils.

During flushing categories at SAB, Balanchine, in order to learn public presentation accomplishments, choreographed an abstract concert dance upon his pupils utilizing Tch

iaikowsky’s Serenade for Strings ; called Serenade ; this was his first concert dance for American terpsichoreans. At the petition of Edward Warburg’s male parent, it was foremost performed in 1934 on the lawn of the Warburg estate in Connecticut. A few months subsequently the group of “four” formed a little company called The American Ballet. It was for this company that Balanchine used, for the first clip, an American subject in his concert dance Alma Mater.

In 1935 The American Ballet became the concert dance company of the Metropolitan Opera Co. , but as with the Maryinsky Opera, Balanchine had jobs with the direction. His dances in Carmen overshadowed the vocalists. He was able to carry the Metropolitan to hold his terpsichoreans do a Stravinsky Festival in 1937, for which he choreographed Card Game.

To maintain the terpsichoreans employed during the summer, Ballet Caravan was created. Many of the immature terpsichoreans, including Lew Christensen, William Dollar, Eugene Loring, and Erick Hawkins, had a opportunity to choreograph for this company. In the spring of 1941 Ballet Caravan and the American Ballet joined forces to tour Latin America under the sponsorship of the State Department. Because of World War II both companies were disbanded after the circuit.

Balanchine & # 8217 ; s energy and creativeness allowed him to choreograph 17 Broadway shows, and he was besides invited by Samuel Goldwyn to choreograph a figure of films. He choreographed On Your Toes with Tamara Geva and Ray Bolger for Broadway, and so a film version with Vera Zorina and Eddie Albert.

To Balanchine, amusement was amusement. When he was asked in 1941 by the Ringling Bros. Circus to choreograph a concert dance for 14 elephants he agreed, and commissioned Stravinsky to compose the music for Circus Polka.

Ballet Society, the replacement to the American Ballet, was organized in 1946 and gave its first public presentation at the Central High School of Needle Trades in New York City. They were so successful that in 1948 the company was invited to go a lasting unit of the New York City Center, with the new name of The New York City Ballet.

When Morton Baum, caput of the finance commission for the New York City Center, saw Ballet Society perform George Balanchine & # 8217 ; s Orpheus in 1948, he invited Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine to fall in the city-supported group. Ballet Society became the New York City Ballet, and the company remained at the City Center for 16 old ages.

The gap dark of the New York City Ballet ( October 1948 ) at the City Center was an auspicious juncture. The first plan consisted of Symphony in C ( choreographed to a freshly discovered symphonic music by George Bizet which was foremost presented as Le Palais de Adam at the Paris Opera ) , Orpheus, and Concerto Barocco. At last Balanchine felt unafraid plenty to organize the company he had ever wanted, with the School of American Ballet to develop the terpsichoreans. Because Balanchine wanted the audiences to come to see concert dances alternatively of star terpsichoreans, he listed his chief terpsichoreans in alphabetical order. In the old ages that followed, Balanchine created some of his greatest concert dances including Scotch Symphony ( 1952 ) , Western Symphony ( 1954 ) , Square Dance ( 1957 ) , and Stars and Stripes ( 1958 ) Although he besides created narrative concert dances & # 8212 ; Le Baiser de la F? vitamin E ( 1934 ) , Don Quixote ( 1965 ) , La Sonnambula ( 1946 ) , and A Midsummer Night & # 8217 ; s Dream ( 1962 ) & # 8212 ; most of his concert dances were called abstract ( plotless ) . Balanchine & # 8217 ; s most celebrated narrative concert dance, The Nutcracker ( 1954 ) , has become the money-maker of all clip. It has been performed every twelvemonth during the vacation season since its premiere. Balanchine married Vera Zorina in 1938 and starred her on Broadway and in the films. After Zorina he married Maria Tallchief in 1946, and created Orpheus ( 1948 ) , Firebird ( 1949 ) , Swan Lake ( 1951 ) , Scotch Symphony ( 1952 ) , The Nutcracker ( 1954 ) , and Allegro Brillante ( 1956 ) for her. After eight old ages of matrimony she got an revocation, because she said the matrimony had ne’er been consummated. For Tanaquil LeClerq, his 4th married woman ( whom he married in 1952 ) he created La Valze ( 1951 ) , Bourr? vitamin E Fantasque ( 1949 ) Western Symphony and Ivesiana ( both in1954 ) . Her calling ended after she was tragically stricken with infantile paralysis. Before their divorce was finalized Balanchine became infatuated with his concluding prot? g? , Suzanne Farrell, for whom he created many of his last great concert dances: Mozartiana ( 1981 ) , Don Quixote ( 1965 ) , and Diamonds in Jewels ( 1967 ) . After Balanchine recovered from a cryptic unwellness, he continued to work until his decease. He died of Jakob-Creutzfeldt syndrome, on April 30, 1983. Balanchine & # 8217 ; s funeral was held in a Russian Orthodox Church and that dark the New York City Ballet performed as scheduled. Balanchine & # 8217 ; s repretare is still widely performed and he has made a mjor impact on the universe of concert dance.


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