Colorado Ballet

Serenade

Serenade

Choreographer: George Balanchine
Stage by Viki Psihoyos - 2017
Composer: P.I. Tchaikovsky
Years performed: 2017
1998
1995
Artists of Colorado Ballet in Serenade - photo by Mike Watson

Total run time: 32 minutes

About Serenade

Courtesy of The Balanchine Trust

The first performance of Serenade was on June 10, 1934, by students of the School of American Ballet, at Felix Warburg’s estate, White Plains, New York.

Serenade is a milestone in the history of dance. It is the first original ballet Balanchine created in America and is one of the signature works of New York City Ballet’s repertory. The ballet is performed by 28 dancers in blue costumes in front of a blue background. Originating it as a lesson in stage technique, Balanchine worked unexpected rehearsal events into the choreography. When one student fell, he incorporated it. Another day, a student arrived late, and this too became part of the ballet.

After its initial presentation, Serenade was reworked several times. In its present form there are four movements — “Sonatina,” “Waltz,” “Russian Dance,” and “Elegy.” The last two movements reverse the order of Tchaikovsky’s score, ending the ballet on a note of sadness.

Premiere: 1935
Average Length: 33 minutes
No. Dancers: 26

Photo: Artists of Colorado Ballet by Mike Watson - ©The Balanchine Trust


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