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A work of contrasting moods and spirits, Episodes and Sarcasms opens with an energetic all-male ensemble; the second half of the ballet is full of inventive solos, duets and unusual partnering. Prokofiev's music — a series of short piano pieces composed before World War I — was considered shocking when it premiered. The influence of several George Balanchine works (Apollo, Episodes, Square Dance) is clearly evident.
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