Known for his love of all things American, Balanchine distilled square dancing to fit his neoclassical minimalism, retaining its effervescent joy in Square Dance.
In Square Dance, George Balanchine joined the traditions of American folk dance with classical ballet. He felt the two types of dance, though widely different in style, had common roots and a similar regard for order. He wrote, "The American style of classical dancing, its supple sharpness and richness of metrical invention, its superb preparation for risks, and its high spirits, were some of the things I was trying to show in this ballet." In the original 1957 version, the musicians were placed onstage, and a square dance caller was brought in to call out the steps. Square Dance was revived in 1976 without the caller, with the orchestra in the pit, and with an added solo for the principal male dancer.