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With a poker table backdrop for dancers dressed as playing cards, the whimsical Jeu de Cartes pairs fleet-footed choreography with Stravinsky's boisterous and wildly rhythmic score.
Stravinsky composed Jeu de Cartes (Card Game: A Ballet in Three Deals) for the first Stravinsky Festival mounted by Balanchine at the Metropolitan Opera in 1937. The original version featured dancers representing the four suits in a deck of cards, with the joker as the central character. Years later, Balanchine suggested that Peter Martins choreograph an abstract version of the ballet to the same score. Martins created the ballet for the 1992 Diamond Project and in 2002, commissioned Ian Falconer to create a fanciful new set and costumes.
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