David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza (Columbus Ave. at 63rd St.)
Description: Zakouski is the Russian term for hors d'oeuvres. This ballet for two dancers set to four short works for violin and piano explores through vernacular gesture and movement the emotional terrain of its musical sources. Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (1891-1953) was a leading Soviet composer and a brilliant pianist. He left Russia in 1918 and lived in Germany and Paris for the next sixteen years, with frequent trips to America for concert appearances. In 1934 he settled in Moscow and composed prolifically until his death. Among his better known works are the ballet scores Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, and The Prodigal Son, the opera Love for Three Oranges, the children's classic Peter and the Wolf, the film score and cantata for Alexander Nevsky, and the Classical Symphony. Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), Russian composer, conductor and pianist. He studied at the St. Petersburg and Moscow Conservatories. His distinctive musical style is characterized by richness of melody, harmony and texture, a particular flair for vocal music and a sensitivity to Russian poetry. His Second Piano Concerto (1900-1) brought him international fame and is still one of the most performed orchestral works. After the Revolution of 1917 he made his home in America, where he gave regular concerts and recitals to support himself and his family. His extensive gramophone recordings preserve his own expressive piano style. He died at his home in Beverly Hills, California. Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), born in Russia, is acknowledged as one of the great composers of the twentieth century. His work encompassed styles as diverse as Romanticism, Neoclassicism and Serialism. His ballets for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes included The Firebird, Petrushka, The Rite of Spring, and Apollo. His music has been used in over thirty ballets originating with New York City Ballet from 1948 through 1987, including Danses Concertantes, Orpheus, The Cage, Agon, Monumentum pro Gesualdo, Rubies, Symphony in Three Movements, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Concerto for Two Solo Pianos, Suite from Histoire du Soldat, Concertino, and Jeu de Cartes. Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky (1840-1893) studied at the Conservatory in St. Petersburg, where Balanchine later studied piano in addition to his studies in dance. Tschaikovsky is one of the most popular and influential of all romantic composers. His work is expressive, melodic, grand in scale, with rich orchestrations. His output was prodigious and included chamber works, symphonies, concerti for various instruments, operas and works for the piano. His creations for the ballet, composed in close partnership with Marius Petipa, include Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty.
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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