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A work of monumental scale with a magnificent finale, the five-part Vienna Waltzes is set in moonlit Austrian forests and the regal ballrooms of Vienna.
The waltz, which became popular in the late 1700s, was a dance form Balanchine revisited and explored often over his career, but never on as grand a scale as he did for the 1977 Vienna Waltzes. Through Rouben Ter-Arutunian’s evolving scenery, the ballet—Balanchine’s homage to an age of imperial grandeur—transforms from a sylvan forest glen to a dance hall to a glittering society café to, at last, a majestic mirrored ballroom. The music for each section of the ballet is associated with the gradual transformation of the waltz across society. The many elaborate costumes are the last that Barbara Karinska, NYCB’s principal costume-maker for many years and Balanchine’s longtime collaborator, created for New York City Ballet.
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