Colorado Ballet

Brief Fling

Brief Fling

Choreographer: Twyla Tharp
Composer: Michel Colombier and Percy Grainger
Years performed: 2018

World premiere: February 28, 1990
Premiere company: American Ballet Theatre
Premiere location: War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, CA

Total number of dancers: 18
Total run time: 26 minutes

(courtesy of Twyla Tharp's website):

Brief Fling is Mikhail Baryshnikov’s last commission from Tharp during his tenure as artistic director of American Ballet Theatre. The title references both the traditional Scottish dance and a short-lived romance. Isaac Mizrahi's tartan costumes divide the dancers into clans of blue, red, green and off-white.

In the opening section, two soloist couples in red and a quartet in green punch out syncopated phrases to a military tattoo. The principal couple clad in blue performs an extended set of variations to an English folk song backed by the ensemble dancers dressed in off-white. The finale features each clan in succession, compounding into a furioso fugue. 

The score by Michel Colombier intersperses Percy Grainger’s sunny interpretations of traditional melodies from the United Kingdom with an ominous electronic score. 


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