Glass Pieces

Choreography by: Jerome Robbins

Music by: Philip Glass

Expansive in scope and streamlined in style, Glass Pieces captures the pulsating heartbeat of metropolitan life with its charged, urban choreography, concluding in a finale that propels the corps de ballet across the stage at an electrifying pace. 

Although Philip Glass’s work is often labeled as minimalist, he prefers to call it “music with repetitive structures.” His early compositions were greatly influenced by Ravi Shankar and the hypnotic rhythms of Indian music. Some of his most notable work for theater includes the trilogy of operas comprising Einstein on the Beach, Satyagraha, and Akhnaten. Jerome Robbins, originally in line to direct Akhnaten, instead choreographed a ballet using music from the opera along with Rubric and Facades, both from Glassworks. In Glass Pieces, Robbins incorporated concepts from postmodern dance into the traditional ballet vocabulary, and he infused the work with a distinctly urban energy. The recurrent rhythms, driving momentum, and labyrinth of shifting patterns of the ensemble combine to create a physical architecture for Glass’s music.


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Rubric and Façades from Glassworks, excerpts from the opera Akhnaten
May 12, 1983, New York City Ballet, New York State Theater
Original Cast
Heléne Alexopoulos, Peter Frame, Lourdes Lopez, Joseph Duell, Lisa Hess, Victor Castelli, Maria Calegari, Bart Cook

24 Min.
Costumes by
Ben Benson
Set by
Jerome Robbins and Ronald Bates (Production Design)
Lighting by
Ronald Bates