David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza (Columbus Ave. at 63rd St.)
Description: Episodes grew out of Balanchine's enthusiasm for Webern's music, to which he had been introduced by Stravinsky. Balanchine wrote that Webern's orchestral music... fills the air like molecules; it is written for atmosphere. The first time I heard it... the music seemed to me like Mozart and Stravinsky, music that can be danced to because it leaves the mind free to "see" the dancing. In listening to composers like Beethoven and Brahms, every listener has his own ideas, paints his own picture of what the music represents.... How can I, a choreographer, try to squeeze a dancing body into a picture that already exists in someone's mind? It simply won't work. But it will with Webern. Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein invited Martha Graham to choreograph a joint work with Balanchine using all of Webern's orchestral pieces. The result was no true collaboration but a work comprised of two separate sections. Graham's contribution, Episodes I, was danced by her company plus four dancers from New York City Ballet. Episodes II, created by Balanchine, was danced by New York City Ballet and Paul Taylor, who was then a dancer in Graham's company. After 1960, Graham's section and the solo variation were no longer performed at New York City Ballet. Anton von Webern (1883-1945), an Austrian, was part of the neoclassical movement in music. He was a musical scholar who adopted and extended Schoenberg's 12-tone method of composing music, which meant basing a composition on a "series" made up from the 12 notes of the chromatic scale arranged so that no note was repeated within the series. Webern became more and more rigorous in his attempt to compress or simplify his own style.
Venue Description: Founded in 1948 by choreographer George Balanchine, New York City Ballet (NYCB) has the largest repertoire of any American ballet company and is currently the largest dance organization in America. The company stages more than 60 ballets in its winter and spring seasons at Lincoln Center each year and more than 20 in its summer season in Saratoga Springs. Balanchine's creativity influenced dance both across the United States and in Europe and The School of American Ballet (SAB), which Balanchine founded, is the official training school of New York City Ballet, where young American dancers are trained and schooled under the guidance of the world's greatest ballet masters. New York City Ballet has made numerous appearances in the world?s most influential capitals, with an active repertory of over 150 works, principally choreographed by Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Peter Martins. NYCB's performances include "The Nutcracker," "Romeo and Juliet," and "A Midsummer Night's Dream," among others. The New York City Ballet also has a permanent orchestra and holds annual classical music festivals like the Stravinsky Festival, the Tchaikovsky Festival, and the American Music Festival.
The New York City Ballet's permanent performance space is located at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater on 63rd Street in Manhattan, and the other at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY. The School of American Ballet is located in the Samuel B. & David Rose Building at Lincoln Center. For more information: nycballet.com.
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