Pas de Trois (Minkus)

Choreography by: George Balanchine

Music by: Leon Minkus

Balanchine considered this work essentially a restaging of the pas de trois from Marius Petipa's ballet Paquita. He changed some steps for the 1951 New York City Ballet version. The ballet was intended as a tour de force for its three dancers as its demanding choreography poses a nonstop test of technique and virtuosity.

Léon Minkus (1826-1917), born in Vienna, was a composer and violinist of Czech or Polish origin. In the early 1850's he went to Russia, where he had successful career as a concert violinist. Beginning as a soloist at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow in 1861, he became its conductor from 1862-72. His debut as a composer in Russia was in 1869 with the ballet Don Quixote; the scenario was by Petipa. In 1872 he was appointed ballet composer to the Imperial Theaters in St. Petersburg. He continued his association with Petipa with a long series of ballets that were popular in their day, but are now largely forgotten. Among those that have survived are Don Quixote, La Bayadère, and Paquita.

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from Paquita (1881)
1948 by Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas in somewhat different form
NYC Ballet Premiere
February 18, 1951, City Center of Music and Drama
Original Cast
Rosella Hightower, Marjorie Tallchief, André Eglevsky

NYC Ballet Original Cast
Nora Kaye, Maria Tallchief, André Eglevsky
Costumes by