Episodes

Choreography by: George Balanchine

Music by: Anton von Webern

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Credits

Music
Symphony, op. 21 (1928); Five Pieces, op. 10 (1911-13); Concerto, op. 24 (1934); Ricercata in 6 Voices from Bach's Musical Offering (1935)
Premiere
May 14, 1959, New York City Ballet, City Center of Music and Dance
Original Cast
Violette Verdy, Jonathan Watts, Diana Adams, Jacques d' Amboise, Allegra Kent, Nicholas Magallanes, Paul Taylor*, Melissa Hayden, Francisco Monicon

*Guest Artist

Length
27 Min.
Costumes by
Karinska
Set by
David Hays
Lighting by
Ronald Bates (original production); Mark Stanley (current production)

Perhaps the most avant-garde of Balanchine’s Black & White ballets, Episodes uses Webern's edgy tones as the basis for a series of four arresting scenes.
 



These dances were made on the occasion of an homage to Anton von Webern, which included all his orchestral works and in which Martha Graham and her company joined Mr. Balanchine and his. The dances reflect the succinctness of the score's musical speech. The micro-structures of the music are paralleled by an analysis of classic dance motion. The gestural secrets of the latter are isolated, reoriented, and juxtaposed. The power of momentum is kept. In the final section Webern's orchestration of an unorchestrated Ricercata of Bach imitates a Baroque organ. The dance follows the amplitude of development in the score. Virgil Thomson has described Webern's music as "a dialect of Bach."


VIEW A SLIDESHOW OF IMAGES FROM EPISODES >