Other Dances pays homage to Chopin’s romanticism and the purity of classical ballet technique, featuring two dramatic dancers in a series of short, folk-infused dances.
Jerome Robbins was a great admirer of the Russian stars Natalia Makarova and Mikhail Baryshnikov, who each famously defected and made new careers in America. Other Dances, a pas de deux created in 1976 for a New York Public Library for the Performing Arts benefit, was specifically crafted to display their legendary technique and artistry. Robbins chose four mazurkas and one waltz by Chopin, the composer whose piano music had inspired him for Dances at a Gathering. Although Chopin did not invent the mazurka, a stylized Polish dance in triple meter, his compositions brought them to the public attention and raised them to a new level of sophistication. Other Dances, through its simplicity and virtuosity, pays homage to both Chopin’s Romanticism and the fluidity of classical ballet technique.
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