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  Dancer Matthew Powell in Mozartiana in spring 2006. Photographer Steve Wilson.
   

Mozartiana
Choreography: George Balanchine
Music: Peter Tchaikovsky

George Balanchine made and remade Mozartiana several times in his long career. He first choreographed the piece for Les Ballets 1933 (the company he formed in Paris with Boris Kochno) before embarking for America, with revisions in 1935 for the American Ballet, and again for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo featuring its stars Alexandra Danilova and Frederic Franklin in the mid 1940s. For the New York City Ballet’s Tchaikovsky Festival, in 1981, Mozartiana underwent radical changes from the original productions and is one of the last ballets the choreographer created before his death in 1983. The piece is a plotless ballet set to the music of Tchaikovsky.

Peter Tchaikovsky studied at the Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia, where Balanchine later studied piano in addition to his training in dance. Tchaikovsky loved danceable music, particularly that of Mozart who was one of his favorite composers. The score for Mozartiana, Fourth Suite for Orchestra, is Tchaikovsky’s treatment of several Mozart compositions.

World Premiere: June 4, 1981, New York City Ballet, New York State Theatre

Kansas City Ballet Premiere: October 11, 2007, Lyric Theatre

 

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