Scotch Symphony

Dancers Susan Manchak & James Jordan.
Dancers Susan Manchak & James Jordan.

Choreography: George Balanchine
Music: Felix Mendelssohn
Costume Design: Karinska

Balanchine’s classic ballet brings together the music, atmosphere and brilliance of the Highland landscape. In 1952 the New York City Ballet appeared at the Edinburgh Festival. Balanchine was stirred by the sight of the Scottish regiments in the great nocturnal military Tattoo and the vision of Holyrood Castle, and those sights and sounds were to come together in the creation of Scotch Symphony. The dance, like the music on which it is based (the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th movements of Mendelssohn’s Symphony in A Minor, the “Scotch”), is intended as evocation of the setting and character of Scotland. It is Balanchine’s goal, as it was the composer’s, to develop the dance and melodic drama without literary or nationalistic allusions. Scotch Symphony was premiered by the New York City Ballet on November 11, 1952 with a cast which included Maria Tallchief, Patricia Wilde, Andre Eglevsky, Michael Maude, and Frank Hobi.

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