Rhapsody in Blue is a dance of youth, celebratory and exultant. The mood is jazzy and energetic, with romantic passages for the lead couple. The incorporation of jazz and swing elements into the music provides abrupt rhythm switches that accommodate the driving strides and struts, sharp angular arm slices and the dizzying changes in direction devised by Lubovitch. The romance is very modern, much of the dance side-by-side; both males and females swing arms and legs with propelling speed and force, jut elbows with purpose and sharp form, making every pattern exact and intense but with never a break in the flow. The moves for the ensemble are timed so that they create one continuing wave of wheeling, rolling or spiraling forms that disappear into the wings. Even when the boys seize the girls, raise them overhead and race offstage, the girls are still active, thrusting their legs or throwing their arms ecstatically backward and arching upwards from the boys' hands. The lead couple expresses rhapsodic pleasure in large movements, free in the upper body and with great stretching sweeps of the legs. There are no pointe shoes; all dance is in soft slippers, but with the control and mastery of ballet-trained dancers.
Lar Lubovitch (b. 1943) was born in Chicago, Illinois. After studying painting at the Art Institute of Chicago, he attended the University of Iowa where a performance of the José Limón company inspired him to study dance. At Juilliard, and privately, he studied with Antony Tudor, Anna Sokolow, Helen McGhee, Louis Horst, Martha Graham and Donald McKayle and studied classical dance with Margaret Black. In the 60's, he was lighting designer for Louis Falco and Alvin Ailey and danced with Pearl Lange, Manhattan Festival Ballet and the Harkness Ballet. He has said that he learned to dance and danced in order to choreograph. Though he has created works for Bat-Dor, the Dutch National Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Santa Fe Opera Company, he makes works now mostly for his own company, which he founded in 1968.