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America's vast historical canvas provides the inspiration for this work which represents the first collaboration between Wynton Marsalis and Peter Martins. The commissioned score, performed by an 11-piece jazz ensemble, was created in close collaboration with the choreographer who specifically requested six movements, four of them marches, with exact timings for each section — a working relationship not unlike that of Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky and Marius Petipa, Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins, Igor Stravinsky and George Balanchine on occasion. The ballet's movements — Jubilo; The Scent of Democracy, Tick Tock; Night Fall on Toyland; Trail of Tears; Across Death Ground; Express Crossing; Astride Iron Horses, D in the key of F; Now the Blues, Ragtime; and Syncopated with Style — incorporate different facets of the national experience including America's romance with the railroad and frontier fascination to the unique sounds and rhythms of New Orleans.
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