Western Symphony

Choreography by: George Balanchine

Music by: Traditional American melodies orchestrated by Hershy Kay

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Credits

Music
Traditional American melodies
Premiere
September 7, 1954, New York City Ballet, City Center of Music and Drama
Original Cast
Diana Adams, Janet Reed, Patricia Wilde, Tanaquil Le Clercq, Herbert Bliss, Nicholas Magallanes, André Eglevsky, Jacques d'Amboise

Length
26 Min.
Costumes by
Karinska (added 1955)
Set by
John Boyt (added 1955)
Lighting by
Jean Rosenthal (original production); Mark Stanley (current production)

Western Symphony is a rodeo of frisky fillies with a spirited ending that captures the entire cast of over 30 dancers onstage.



Western Symphony is a striking example of Balanchine’s fascination with American themes. Set on a rugged Old West street populated by cowboys and dance hall girls, the ballet nevertheless is very much a classical work.  Balanchine used steps from the traditional ballet vocabulary, but he infused them with the formations and gestures of American folk dancing.  The lively and familiar score consists of Hershy Kay’s orchestrations of classic American folk songs, including “Red River Valley,” “Good Night Ladies,” and “Oh Dem Golden Slippers.”


VIEW A SLIDESHOW OF IMAGES FROM WESTERN SYMPHONY >