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An ironic morality play, The Seven Deadly Sins was composed by Kurt Weill to a German libretto by Bertolt Brecht. It was the last major collaboration between the two artists, and was written in 1933, the year that Weill’s music was banned in Germany. The story, which Weill and Brecht devised in just a week, is the tale of Anna, a single person split in two, who is portrayed by both a singer and a dancer, "we’re really one divided being even though you see two of us."
Although written as a commentary on the decadence of Berlin in the early 1930s, Weill and Brecht decided to set the piece in America, a country they had not yet visited. The ballet was first performed at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris on June 7, 1933, and was produced, directed and choreographed by George Balanchine. The original production starred Weill’s wife Lotte Lenya as the singer and Tilly Losch as the dancer. In 1958 Balanchine revived the production for New York City Ballet with Lenya recreating her original role and Allegra Kent as the dancer.
For NYCB’s 2011 Spring Season the acclaimed director and choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett completely re-imagined the work in an all-new staging featuring Broadway legend Patti LuPone and NYCB Principal Dancer Wendy Whelan as Anna 1 and 2.
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