Choreography by: George Balanchine

Music by: Igor Stravinsky

Balanchine's first collaboration with Stravinsky, Apollo, depicts the young god as he is inspired into adulthood by the muses of poetry, mime, and dance.

Apollo I look back on as the turning point of my life. In its discipline and restraint, in its sustained oneness of tone and feeling, the score was a revelation. It seemed to tell me that I could dare not to use everything, that I, too, could eliminate.”

—George Balanchine

Apollo is the oldest Balanchine ballet in New York City Ballet’s repertory. Created for Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, and originally titled Apollon Musagète, the ballet premiered in Paris in 1928 and was Balanchine’s first major collaboration with composer Igor Stravinsky. With this dramatic and powerful ballet, which created a sensation when it was first performed, the 24-year-old Balanchine achieved international recognition. The 1928 premiere of the ballet featured sets and costumes by the French painter André Bauchant and in 1929 new costumes were created by Coco Chanel. The ballet was first performed by New York City Ballet in 1951, and during his lifetime Balanchine continued to revise the work, eliminating sets, costumes, and much of the ballet’s narrative content.

 View a slideshow of images from Apollo >


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Apollon Musagéte (1928)
June 12, 1928, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt, Paris
NYC Ballet Premiere
November 15, 1951, City Center of Music and Drama
Original Cast
Alice Nikitina, Lubov Tchernicheva, Felia Doubrovska, Serge Lifar

NYC Ballet Original Cast
André Eglevsky, Maria Tallchief, Diana Adams, Tanaquil Le Clercq
28 Min.
Costumes by
André Bauchant, executed by Prince A. Schervashidze (1928), Chanel (1929), Stewart Chaney (1937), Tomás Santa Rosa (1941), Karinska (1951). Danced in minimal practice clothes since 1957.
Set by
André Bauchant, executed under direction of Mme A Youkine (1928), Stewart Chaney (1937), Tomás Santa Rosa (1941). Minimal scenery after 1957; no scenery after 1979.
Lighting by
Jean Rosenthal (1951); David Hays (1964); Mark Stanley (current production)