Les Petits Riens ("Little Nothings") is choreographed to a ballet score of the same name composed by Mozart in Paris for the French choreographer Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), ballet master of the Paris Opera. The ballet is being performed as part of New York City Ballet's contribution to the bicentennial commemoration of the great composer's death, during which all of his compositions will be performed at Lincoln Center. The original ballet was danced as an interlude during Niccolo Piccini's opera Le Finte Gemelle, and Mozart's connection with the work was little known and the score was only discovered in the library of the Paris Opera at the end of the nineteenth century. Martins' Les Petits Riens is a ballet for four couples; the costumes are by Barbara Matera and the lighting is by Mark Stanley.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), an Austrian, was one of the supreme musical geniuses of all time. He excelled in all forms of music: opera, symphony, concerti for various instruments, chamber, vocal, piano and choral, leaving a legacy that is one of the supreme achievements in music. There was nothing in music that Mozart could not do; he was considered by many to be the finest pianist, organist and conductor in Europe. He was a famous child prodigy, and possessed a natural facility for music that is unsurpassed in the history of the art.