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La Valse

La Valse



George Balanchine


Maurice Ravel

The stage is a dark and mysterious ballroom in which thirty-four dancers waltz in flowing romantic tutus to the powerful and disturbing music of Ravel.  La Valse, a neo-romantic ballet choreographed by Balanchine in 1951, projects a mood of impending doom.  Ravel wrote of the score, Valses Nobles: “We are dancing on the edge of a volcano,” and dance critic Arlene Croce wrote that the ballet “is about waltz intoxication, vertigo, and death.”

Although Balanchine’s ballet is considered plotless, it contains many dramatic elements that culminate with the appearance of a dark figure of Death who claims the life of a young woman dressed in white as the horrified on-lookers swirl about her upraised body.  The girl in La Valse was the signature role of Tanaquil LeClercq whose career was tragically brought to a close when she contracted polio – a macabre parallel to the fate of the character whose death she danced so movingly.

 *Valses Nobles et Sentimentales (1911, orchestrated 1912); La Valse (1920)

Miami City Ballet premiere on February 11, 2005 at Jackie Gleason Theatre; Miami Beach, FL.

The performance of La Valse a Balanchine® Ballet, is presented by arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust and has been produced in accordance with the Balanchine Style®  and Balanchine Technique®, Service Standards established and provided by The Trust.

Miami City Ballet gratefully acknowledges the generosity of Rita E. Stein and The Rosenfeld Foundation for their gift to underwrite the Company Premiere of La Valse.



George Balanchine ©The George Balanchine Trust


Maurice Ravel*

*Valses Nobles et Sentimentales (1911, orchestrated 1912); La Valse (1920)


Bart Cook and Maria Calegari

Set and Lighting Design

Jean Rosenthal

Scenic Supervision

Arnold Abramson

Scenery Build

Jupiter Scenic

Costume Designs