Accessibility links

|

Sign In
Basket
Basket

Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of Apollo. It was last on stage 22 February—14 March 2013 as part of the Winter 2012/13 season.

Introduction

The ballet relates events surrounding Apollo, Greek god of music, from his birth to his assumption of the leadership of the muses on Mount Parnassus.

Background

George Balanchine was just 24 when he created his ballet about the youthful Greek god Apollo. It was a landmark in his career, in which he moved from the modernism of earlier works to re-embrace and reinterpret classical choreography. The ballet also marked the start of a long, collaborative relationship with Igor Stravinsky, who produced a score of neoclassical vitality. Balanchine's Apollo had its premiere in Paris in 1928 (a few months after the unsuccessful premiere of the score in Washington with choreography by Adolf Bolm), and its success launched Balanchine onto the international stage.

The ballet opens with the birth of Apollo against a luminous blue background, evoking the Aegean Sea. Three muses, wearing brilliant white costumes, dance solo variations before Apollo dances a pas de deux with Terpsichore, the muse of dance. Balanchine’s choreography is perfectly in tune with Stravinsky’s music, which moves between dynamic playfulness and moments of solemnity.

News and features

On Wikipedia

Alexandra Danilova and Serge Lifar

Apollo (originally Apollon musagète and variously known as Apollo musagetes, Apolo Musageta, and Apollo, Leader of the Muses) is a ballet in two tableaux composed between 1927 and 1928 by Igor Stravinsky. It was choreographed in 1928 by balletmaster George Balanchine, with the composer contributing the libretto. The scenery and costumes were designed by André Bauchant, with new costumes by Coco Chanel in 1929. The scenery was executed by Alexander Shervashidze, with costumes under the direction of Mme. A. Youkine. The American patron of the arts Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge had commissioned the ballet in 1927 for a festival of contemporary music to be held the following year at the Library of Congress, in Washington, D.C.The story centres on Apollo, the Greek god of music, who is visited by three muses: Terpsichore, muse of dance and song; Polyhymnia, muse of mime; and Calliope, muse of poetry. The ballet plainly takes Classical antiquity as its subject, though its plot suggests a contemporary situation. It is concerned with the reinvention of tradition, since its inspiration is "classique", or even post-baroque; nevertheless, it uses a chamber orchestra, with only 34 string instruments (8.8.6.8.4).

Abstract taken from the Wikipedia article Apollo (ballet), available under a Creative Commons license.