Allegro Brillante

Choreography by: George Balanchine

Music by: Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky

George Balanchine called the exuberant Allegro Brillante “everything I know about classical ballet in thirteen minutes.”

One of George Balanchine’s most joyous, pure dance pieces, Allegro Brillante is characterized by what Maria Tallchief — the ballerina on whom the bravura leading role was created — called "an expansive Russian romanticism." The ballet is set to Tschaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 3, a work that the composer created from sketches for a composition that was intended to be his Sixth Symphony, but which instead served as a single movement work which was published posthumously in 1894. Balanchine described this ballet as a concentrated essay in the extended classical vocabulary, in which a maximum amount of choreographic development is contained within a rather restricted area of time and space.

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Piano Concerto No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 75 (1892)
March 1, 1956, New York City Ballet, City Center of Music and Drama
Original Cast
Maria Tallchief, Nicholas Magallanes

16 Min.
Costumes by
Lighting by
Jean Rosenthal (1956-1964); David Hays (1964-1970); Ronald Bates (from 1971); Mark Stanley (current production)