George Balanchine | Ballet Opera Bastille Paris

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PreviousOctober 1972

The tribute to Arnold Schönberg Opera Paris ends with the directory entry Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet by George Balanchine, who was accompanied by a new creation, control of the Paris National Opera at the rising star of neoclassical dance across the Atlantic & nbps;: the young American choreographer Justin Peck.
Spotted at the time by the same Igor Stravinsky, Poulenc has also tried ballet music for Serge Diaghilev before tackling other forms. Although a different destination, his Concerto in D minor for two pianos and orchestra, composed in 1932, also appears to have been written for the dance. Justin Peck provide evidence.
George Balanchine thought chamber music was generally not adapted to the dance. But the Quartet for Piano and Strings No. 1 by Johannes Brahms, in orchestrating that gave Arnold Schönberg, inspired his first abstract ballet for the New York State Theater in 1966. This symphonic version allows the choreographer to express his musicality and the whole range of his creativity. Following the four movements of the score, George Balanchine offers four different styles and atmospheres, marked by the elegance of the Allegro, the romance of Intermezzo or the lyricism of the Andante. Gypsy theme of the last movement results in a dazzling display of his knowledge, in the form of apotheosis.

Program and cast

Creative team

Concerto Barocco

Music : Jean-Sébastien Bach - Concerto pour deux violons en ré mineur, BWV 1043

Choreography : George Balanchine

Les quatre tempéraments

Music : Paul Hindemith - Thème avec quatre variations pour orchestre à cordes et piano

Choreography : George Balanchine


Music : Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovski - Sérénade en ut majeur pour orchestre à cordes, op. 48

Choreography : George Balanchine

Costume design : Barbara Karinska

Paris Opera - Opéra Bastille

Opéra Bastille
A great modern theatre
The Opéra Bastille is the work of the Canadian-Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott, who was chosen in November 1983 after an international competition that attracted entries from some 1,700 architects. The theatre was inaugurated on July 13th 1989.
Its architecture is marked by transparent façades and by the use of identical materials for both the interiors and the exteriors.
With its 2,700 acoustically consistent seats, its unique stage facilities, its integrated scenery, costume and accessory workshops, as well as its numerous work areas and rehearsal rooms, the Opera Bastille is a great modern theatre.
Stage facilities

Orchestra pit, mobile and adjustable, can be covered; at its largest it can house 130 musicians
Main stage, 45 m high, 30 m wide, 25 m deep, made up of 9 elevators allowing several levels to be created and supported by three main elevators, which bring scenery up from below stage
Clearing zones, 4 storage areas with the same dimensions as the stage
Backstage area, with its scenery turntable
Circulation area, scenery temporarily stored between the stage, workshops and rehearsal stage
Rehearsal stage, the Salle Gounod, with its orchestra pit and dimensions identical to those of the main stage


The building

Area at ground level: 22,000 m²
Floor area: 160,000 m²
Total height: 80 m (including 30 m below street level)


The auditoriums
The main auditorium

Area: 1,200 m², 5% of the total for the building
Dimensions: 20 m high, 32 m deep, 40 m wide
Number of seats: 2,703
Materials: blue granite from Lannelin in Brittany, pearwood from China, glass ceiling


The amphitheatre

Area: 700 m²
Depth : 21.4 m
Number of seats : 450
Materials: white breccia marble from Verona, staff ceiling


The Studio

Area: 280 m²
Depth: 19,5 m
Number of seats: 237
Materials: white breccia marble from Verona and pearwood


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