The Chairman Dances

Choreography by: Peter Martins

Music by: John Adams

Martins transforms an unused passage from John Adams’ opera Nixon in China into a colorful display with suggestions of traditional Chinese lyric gestures and pageantry.

Combining the vocabulary of classical dance with a suggestion of traditional Chinese lyric gestures and pageantry, The Chairman Dances builds on the repetitiveness of its minimalist score and boldly colorful staging. It features a lead dancer and a corps of 16 women attired in brilliantly colored Chinese-style costumes, with decor by Rouben Ter-Arutunian. The ballet was inspired by a scene originally written for, but not included in, the production of Adams' opera, Nixon in China, that of Chairman Mao dancing with his future bride, the movie star Chiang Ch'ing.

Performances

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Credits

Music
The Chairman Dances (1985)
Premiere
May 14, 1988, New York City Ballet, American Music Festival, New York State Theater
Original Cast
Darci Kistler

Length
12 Min.
Costumes by
Rouben Ter-Arutunian
Set by
Rouben Ter-Arutunian
Lighting by
Mark Stanley