George Balanchine: The Young Ballet

1843 Words8 Pages

Carlina Cruz

Ballet 112 B

22 October 2015

George Balanchine

George Balanchine was and is the most respected choreographer in the history of ballet. Not only did his astounding work influence his generation alone, but the entire future of generations to come. His accomplishments created a foundation for the world to build upon. What he did was take what was given to him, an established art form, and fine-tuned it. He took ballet and molded it into the perfect art form. His imagination brought him to such discoveries that no one else had thought of, and not only influenced a species of dancers, but the entire population. As Lloyd Schwartz from Arizona Public Media expressed,"[He] was our Shakespeare…watching a Balanchine ballet is like watching …show more content…

His life changing talent pushed limits and boundaries that no other had ever closely approached or simply acknowledged that had existed before. The first piece he ever completed was in his teenage years- La Nuit, a pas de deux of he and another female student (The George Balanchine Foundation, 3). This beautiful piece of artwork, as well as most of his choreography, has been posted to the Internet for anyone to enjoy the various versions of it online. Balanchine and others formed an aspiring group of choreographers, “The Young Ballet,” for which he composed several works in an experimental vein, but the authorities disapproved” (The Balanchine Foundation, 3). This creative outlet came to a quick halt, due to several threats of being executed from the program at Petrograd. He insisted on fulfilling what they had begun, and risked the peril. He and a few others to tour Western Europe with the collection of elaborate choreography they had, and were kicked out of …show more content…

For instance, “Many recent ballets might not have existed at all if Balanchine had not provided precedents for them. As one might expect, the choreographers of the New York City Ballet, Balanchine's company, are carrying on his tradition. Last season, both Helgi Tomasson's new Menuetto, a gracious work to a Mozart divertimento, and Bart Cook's first ballet, Seven by Five, a romp to Saint-Saens's Septet could be described as Balanchinian abstractions to concert music” (Jack Anderson, New York Times 2). He constructed twenty-nine ballets to Stravinsky’s music, and over two hundred ballets in total (Theguardian, 10). His large quantity of works vastly improved dance within each individual ballet he premiered. When choreographing, the interesting decisions made and large risks he took within each choice he has to make stretched the boundaries. He even broke boundaries at times. Balanchine plunged into each opportunity, and made bold choices without fear. A risk of his I found interesting was how “Balanchine once choreographed a ballet for elephants (all in tutus). His Circus Polka for "50 elephants and 50 beautiful girls" was commissioned in 1942 for Ringling Brothers and the Barnum and Bailey circus. Stravinsky wrote the music. It ran for 425 performances in Madison Square Garden”

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