Sonatine

Choreography by: George Balanchine

Music by: Maurice Ravel

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Credits

Music
Sonatine (1906)
Premiere
May 15, 1975, New York City Ballet, Ravel Festival, New York State Theater
Original Cast
Violette Verdy, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux

Length
14 min.
Lighting by
Ronald Bates

The refined simplicity and emotional interactions of Balanchine’s rarely-seen Sonatine evoke the elegance of the French artists on which it was made.
 

Sonatine was presented as the opening ballet of the New York City Ballet Ravel Festival during the 1975 Spring Season, which marked the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Perhaps as a nod to the composer’s country, Balanchine created this ballet — a pas de deux with an onstage pianist — on Violette Verdy and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, two NYCB principal dancers born in France. The music is Ravel’s Sonatine for Piano, which was first performed in 1906.