The Cage

Choreography by: Jerome Robbins

Music by: Igor Stravinsky

The Cage plunges into the world of natural selection, using Stravinsky’s daring score to depict the feral instinct compelling the female of an insect species to consider its male counterpart as prey. 


Stravinsky composed his Concerto in D for String Orchestra in 1946, as a commission for the 20th anniversary of the Basler Orchestra; it was his first work for string orchestra since Apollon Musagète. The vivid, haunting composition features a shift between D major and minor throughout the work and a rich quality for the writing of the strings. Jerome Robbins used Stravinksy’s concerto for one of his early works, The Cage, which imagines a community of female creatures. In describing the ballet, Robbins said, “I did not have to confine myself to human beings moving in a way that we know is human. In the way their fingers worked, in the crouch of a body or the thrust of an arm, I could let myself see what I wanted to imagine.”

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Concerto in D for String Orchestra, "Basler" (1946)
June 10, 1951, New York City Ballet, City Center of Music and Drama
Original Cast
Nora Kaye, Yvonne Mounsey, Nicholas Magallanes, Michael Maule

14 Min.
Costumes by
Ruth Sobotka
Set by
Jean Rosenthal
Lighting by
Jennifer Tipton