Ballet West at Guggenheim’s Works and Process
September 29, 2019
With sets and costumes designed by Henri Matisse, Le Chant du Rossignol (The Song of the Nightingale) is a tale about a mysterious songbird who cures an ailing Chinese emperor. Created by George Balanchine in 1925 when he was only 21 years old, it was his first partnership with composer Igor Stravinsky, leading to a 46-year friendship that resulted in some of the greatest ballets of the 20th century. This production marks its U.S. premiere and designates Ballet West as the second company in the world to present this important reconstruction by Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer. Prior to the work’s October premiere in Salt Lake City, Ballets Russes expert Lynn Garafola, Professor Emerita of Dance, Barnard College, Columbia University, moderates a discussion with Hodson, Archer, Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute, and Balanchine Trust repetiteur Victoria Simon. The conversation will explore Balanchine’s development as a choreographer, the influence of Asian art on Matisse, and ethnic representation in the 21st century. The discussion will be accompanied by excerpts performed by Ballet West dancers. Simon will restage the 1928 Balanchine-Stravinsky collaboration Apollo, including the original birthing scene and final ascent to Mount Olympus.