Vienna Waltzes

Choreography by: George Balanchine

Music by: Johann Strauss II, Franz Lehár, Richard Strauss

A work of monumental scale with a magnificent finale, the five-part Vienna Waltzes is set in moonlit Austrian forests and the regal ballrooms of Vienna.

The waltz, which became popular in the late 1700s, was a dance form Balanchine revisited and explored often over his career, but never on as grand a scale as he did for the 1977 Vienna Waltzes. Through Rouben Ter-Arutunian’s evolving scenery, the ballet—Balanchine’s homage to an age of imperial grandeur—transforms from a sylvan forest glen to a dance hall to a glittering society café to, at last, a majestic mirrored ballroom. The music for each section of the ballet is associated with the gradual transformation of the waltz across society. The many elaborate costumes are the last that Barbara Karinska, NYCB’s principal costume-maker for many years and Balanchine’s longtime collaborator, created for New York City Ballet.



Social Media Buttons


Music Tales from the Vienna Woods, Op. 325 (1868), Voices of Spring, Op. 410 (1885), Explosions Polka, Op. 43 (1848),Gold and Silver Waltz (1905), first sequence of waltzes from Der Rosenkavalier (arranged 1944)
June 23, 1977, New York City Ballet, New York State Theater
Original Cast
Karin von Aroldingen, Sean Lavery, Patricia McBride, Helgi Tomasson, Sara Leland, Bart Cook, Kay Mazzo, Peter Martins, Suzanne Farrell, Jorge Donn

45 Min.
Costumes by
Set by
Rouben Ter-Arutunian
Lighting by
Ronald Bates (original production); Mark Stanley (current production)