Choreography: Todd Bolender
Music: Franz Von Suppé
Costumes: Russ Vogler
The Pas de Deux is set to the music of Franz Von Suppé (1819-1895) who was a composer of operettas, a contemporary and sometimes rival of Offenbach. His most celebrated works are the “Poet and Peasant” and “Light Cavalry” overtures, predictable centerpiece to thousands of band concerts in turn-of-the-century America. Von Suppé’s music is gay, charming, and Viennese and the overture to Die schöne Galatea to which Bolender has set this ballet is as gay, charming and Viennese as any.
The myth is familiar. The sculptor, Pygmalion, an avowed women-hater falls hopelessly in love with the work of his hand, the figure of a beautiful woman. In despair he enlists the help of Venus/Aphrodite, who assures him of assistance. He returns home to find the statue in flames, and when the flames die, Galatea lives. The ballet is in the tradition of the showy Grand Pas de Deux although the use of a story in this dance context is somewhat unorthodox. The work was choreographed for the Kansas City Ballet by Todd Bolender in September of 1982.