The Tchaikovsky Suite

Dancers Lauren Wright & Scott Alan Barker. Photographer Don Middleton.
Dancers Lauren Wright & Scott Alan Barker. Photographer Don Middleton.

Choreography: Todd Bolender
Music: Peter I. Tchaikovsky
Costume Design: Russ Vogler

The Tchaikovsky Suite is a presentation piece, designed to offer the collected talents of company dancers and students. The work, choreographed by Todd Bolender, was premiered in 1976 by the Pacific Northwest Ballet and was performed by the Ballet of Istanbul when Mr. Bolender served as artistic director. In 1981 the Suite was finale to the Kansas City Ballet’s fall season and introduced the students of the just-opened K.C.B. School. By traditional dictates a work of this sort is a significant part of the company’s repertoire. The Kirov, the Royal Danish ballet, and many major European dance companies incorporated into their seasons a major work which includes apprentices and students…so that the audience might see and sense something of the company’s promise. A work of this sort speaks to the future…of company and the dancers too. The Suite presents the children not as incidental but as integral parts of events on state.

Although the music, a combination of the 1st and 2nd Suites, was not composed for ballet, the lyricism of the divertimento section (the pas de deux), The Gavotte, (for four girls and four students), the Marche Miniature, the frequent references to traditional Russian folk melodies, underscore the natural affinity of Tchaikovsky’s music and the dance. They seem made for each other.

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