Colorado Ballet

Stars and Stripes

Stars and Stripes

Choreographer: George Balanchine, staged by Bart Cook
Composer: John Phillip Sousa (arranged by Hershy Kay)
Years performed: 2001

The George Balanchine Trust - Stars and Stripes Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Music: Corcoran Cadets, Thunder and Gladiator, Rifle Regiment, Liberty Bell, El Capitan, The Stars and Stripes Forever
Composer: Sousa, John Philip / Kay, Hershy
Premiere: 1958
Average Length: 29 minutes
Number of dancers:  41

About Stars and Stripes (courtesy of The Balanchine Trust):

For all its exuberant patriotic touches, Stars and Stripes contains as much pure dancing as many full-length classical ballets. The work is divided into five “campaigns,” each of which uses different Sousa themes. The fourth campaign is a pas de deux, variations, and coda set to the “Liberty Bell” and “El Capitan” marches.

When asked why he chose to choreograph a ballet to Sousa’s marches, Balanchine replied: “Because I like his music.”

Stars and Stripes has been performed for many memorable occasions, including Nelson Rockefeller’s inauguration as governor of New York, tributes for Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and the opening ceremonies for the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. The ballet is dedicated to the memory of Fiorello H. LaGuardia, mayor of New York City and founder of the City Center of Music and Drama.

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