Yes Virginia, Another Piano Ballet

Dancers Alecia Good and Goddard Finley.
Dancers Alecia Good and Goddard Finley.

Choreography: Peter Anastos
Music: Frederic Chopin
First performed: New York, 1976
First performed by KCB: February 27, 1992

Beginning with Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering (1969) there has been a series of “piano ballets” which somehow seek to demystify and humanize the classical ballet dancer and his milieu. Where classical ballet presents itself as formal and aristocratic, piano ballets present dancers as just plain folks having a communal experience feeling each other’s energy. This is somewhat akin to celebrities on TV talk shows sharing their laundry problems with the nation.

Yes Virginia,…was created for the Broadway debut Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo at the Palace Theatre in 1976. It has subsequently been staged for Mikhail Baryshnikov and Company, Alexander Godunov and Company, and for several regional ballet companies. It has been danced to great acclaim throughout five continents and it is even rumored that a woman in Japan is still laughing at that low arabesque in the third movement.

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