The four movements of Bizet's Symphony no.1 in C Major are matched to choreography that moves through virtuoso displays and romantic pas de deux to end with a spectacular finale.
George Balanchine created Symphony in C in 1947 for the Paris Opera Ballet, and it was first performed by The Royal Ballet in 1991. In creating the ballet, he drew on his experience as a young dancer in St Petersburg - this Russian background is particularly evident in the Andante movement, which recalls the style of the 'white act' in Swan Lake.
Bizet's Symphony, created when the composer was only 17, provides the perfect score for Balanchine's neoclassical displays of virtuosity through the Allegro vivo movement, a poignant Andante movement and the exhilarating build-up to the grand finale, in which 52 dancers fill the stage. The elegant set and costumes were designed by former Director of The Royal Ballet Anthony Dowell.