Balanchine's first major collaboration with Stravinsky and one of his earliest international successes, Apollo presents the young god as he is ushered into adulthood by the muses of poetry, mime, and dance.
Apollo is the oldest Balanchine ballet in New York City Ballet’s repertory. Originally titled Apollon Musagète, it created a sensation when it was first performed in 1928, and was Balanchine’s first major collaboration with Stravinsky for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. With this dramatic and powerful ballet, the 24-year-old Balanchine achieved international recognition. The ballet was first performed by New York City Ballet in 1951, with the title translated from the Greek as Apollo, Leader of the Muses. Starting in 1957, the ballet was called simply Apollo, and over the years, Balanchine stripped the ballet of much of its narrative content. Balanchine wrote, “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.”
Original scenery and costumes by André Bauchant. (New costumes by Chanel, 1929.) Scenery executed by Prince A. Schervashidze; costumes executed under direction of Mme A Youkine. American Ballet: scenery and costumes by Stewart Chaney (1937); American Ballet Caravan: scenery and costumes by Tomás Santa Rosa (1941); NYCB: Costumes by Karinska (1957); NYCB: danced in practice clothes with minimal scenery; scenery omitted entirely since 1979.
View a slideshow of images from Apollo >