#Throwback Thursday: Mozartiana

This week's #ThrowbackThursday features Balanchine's Mozartiana.

Sterling Hyltin and Chase Finlay, NYCB

Mozartiana was choreographed by George Balanchine for the New York City Ballet, and opened their 1981 Tchaikovsky Festival. The music used was Tchaikovsky's Suite No. 4, Mozartiana, Op. 61, a set of short pieces by Mozart which he arranged and orchestrated in 1887. The ballet consists of a Preghiera (Prayer), Gigue, Minuet, Theme and Variations (a classical pas de deux), and a Finale. It premiered in Lincoln Center in the New York State Theater on June 4, 1981, with costumes by Rouben Ter-Arutunian.

Full cast in the Finale, NYCB

Balanchine first choreographed to this music in 1933 for his first ballet company, Les Ballets. This version was danced again at the first recital of the School of American Ballet on June 9, 1934, where it was paired with another of Balanchine's works, Serenade. The 1981 version was completely re-choreographed. It was one of Balanchine's last works, and featured his muse of the time, Suzanne Farrell. The New York City Ballet continues to perform it.

Suzanne Farrell in 'Mozartiana', c. 1981

Here's a rare recording of Mozartiana starring Suzanne Farrell (date unsure):

Thanks for reading!

- Selene

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