Divertimento No. 15

Balanchine/Mozart


George Balanchine loved Mozart’s 15th divertimento so deeply – he regarded it as the greatest divertimento ever composed – that he created two different ballets to it. The second, from 1956, remains in the repertories of ballet companies around the world – beloved for its elegance, its charming relaxed classicism, its melodic fluency. And for its five virtuoso ballerina roles.

“This is a ballet of the aristocracy,” wrote dance historian Nancy Reynolds. “Cut crystal rather than diamond glitter characterizes the ballet’s delicate sparkle. It is one of Balanchine’s purest dance creations – a string of dances, solos, ensembles, pas de deux – with muted emotional overtones.” Here is style without affectation, feeling without self-dramatization. And from the start, regarded as a Balanchine masterpiece.

CHOREOGRAPHY
George Balanchine
© The George Balanchine Trust

MUSIC
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Divertimento No. 15 in B-flat, K. 287-1777

COSTUME DESIGN
Karinska

LIGHTING DESIGN
John Hall

Arden Court

Taylor / Boyce


One of Paul Taylor’s best-loved works, Arden Court returns to MCB after 15 years – rushing, leaping, cavorting through space to the exhilarating Baroque music of William Boyce. It’s easy to see why since its 1981 premiere it has been one of Taylor’s biggest critical and popular triumphs.

CHOREOGRAPHY
Paul Taylor

MUSIC
William Boyce
Excerpts from Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8

SET & COSTUME DESIGN
Gene Moore

LIGHTING DESIGN
Jennifer Tipton

Who Cares?

Balanchine / Gershwin


In 1970, George Balanchine decided to create a classical ballet to a bunch of songs by his old friend and colleague George Gershwin – they had been working together in Hollywood in 1937 on The Goldwyn Follies when Gershwin died suddenly and tragically at the age of 38.

Who Cares? builds and builds, from zippy work for the corps through a series of jaunty duets for five semi-soloist couples, to the glowing heart of the matter: one guy – a supreme hoofer – partnering three ballerinas in ravishing duets, interspersed by astounding solos for the three ballerinas, then a solo for the guy, and finally everyone together in a joyous romp of a finale. This ballet set the seal on the stardom of Jacques d’Amboise and Patricia McBride (“The Man I Love” and “Fascinatin’ Rhythm”).

Let the last word on it be said by Lincoln Kirstein, the man who brought Balanchine to America in 1933: “Fifty years ago, the best of the Gershwin songs maintain their classic freshness, as of an eternal martini – dry, frank, refreshing, tailor-made, with an invisible kick from its slightest hint of citron. Nostalgia has not syruped their sentiment nor robbed them of their immediate piquancy.”

CHOREOGRAPHY
George Balanchine
© The George Balanchine Trust

SET DESIGN
Jo Mielziner
Set Painted by Arnold Abramson, Studio South

COSTUME DESIGN
Karinska

LIGHTING DESIGN
John Hall

 

MUSIC
George Gershwin, arranged for orchestra by Hershey Kay
Strike up the Band
Sweet and Low Down
Somebody Loves Me
Bidin’ My Time
’S Wonderful
That Certain Feeling
Do Do Do
Lady Be Good
The Man I Love
I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise
Embraceable You
Fascinatin’ Rhythm
Who Cares?
My One and Only
Liza
I Got Rhythm