Episodes

Choreography by: George Balanchine

Music by: Anton von Webern

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Credits

Music
Symphony, op. 21 (1928); Five Pieces, op. 10 (1911-13); Concerto, op. 24 (1934); Ricercata in 6 Voices from Bach's Musical Offering (1935)
Premiere
May 14, 1959, New York City Ballet, City Center of Music and Dance
Original Cast
Violette Verdy, Jonathan Watts, Diana Adams, Jacques d' Amboise, Allegra Kent, Nicholas Magallanes, Paul Taylor*, Melissa Hayden, Francisco Monicon

*Guest Artist

Length
27 Min.
Costumes by
Karinska
Set by
David Hays
Lighting by
Ronald Bates (original production); Mark Stanley (current production)

Perhaps the most avant-garde of Balanchine’s Black & White ballets, Episodes uses Webern's edgy tones as the basis for a series of four arresting scenes.



In homage to Anton von Webern, Episodes was created to the composer’s complete orchestral works. Balanchine invited Martha Graham to choreograph the first section for her company; he choreographed the second for NYCB, with an additional solo for Paul Taylor, then a member of the Graham company. The work was presented in full for two seasons. Since 1961, NYCB has performed its section alone, without the solo created for Taylor. The final section, Ricercata, is Webern’s orchestration of a Bach composition; Virgil Thomson has described Webern’s music as “a dialect of Bach.”


VIEW A SLIDESHOW OF IMAGES FROM EPISODES >