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A spirited ballet accompanied by two onstage pianists, Eight Easy Pieces displays the virtuosity of three female dancers in a series of charming vignettes.
Eight Easy Pieces is composed of a series of piano duets; the first three designed with easy left-hand parts, the other five with easy right-hand parts. The first three were dedicated to Diaghilev, Casella (an Italian composer who was Stravinsky’s contemporary and influenced by him), and Satie; Stravinsky thought that Diaghilev could manage to play the easier part. The other five pieces were written for Stravinsky’s young children, to teach them both the instrument and music. Stravinsky played the Polka for Diaghilev and Casella and recalled “how amazed both men were that the composer of Le Sacre du Printemps should have produced such a piece of popcorn.”
The ballet Eight Easy Pieces was commissioned for a benefit concert for the Dance Collection of the New York Public Library given by Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale. Martins choreographed the work on three women who, in solo, duet, and trio, sparkle in a March, Valse, Polka, Andante, Española, Balalaika, Napolitana, and Galop.
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