Theme and Variations received its world premiere at New York’s City Center on November 26, 1947, danced by Alicia Alonso and Igor Youskevitch. George Balanchine’s plotless ballet with its glorious choreography and glittering costumes is a vision of the Imperial Ballet in its heyday at the Maryinksy Theatre. A second production with costumes by Desmond Heeley, premiered at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, on April 17, 1978, with Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov in the leading roles.
Pas de Quatre, originally choreographed by Jules Perrot in 1846 to music by Cesare Pugni, caused a sensation with both critics and public at its London premiere in 1847. One reason for its success was that it brought together four of the greatest ballerinas of the time. In order of appearance in the work, the ballerinas were Lucile Grahn, Carlotta Grisi, Fanny Cerrito, and Marie Taglioni, with this order being according to age. This cast only performed four times together. Continue reading