Performing a Balanchine ballet always provokes a certain sense of reverence. Iconic costumes, powerful scores, distinct steps.
I wrote a bit about the history of Balanchine’s Serenade on the FBP Blog, but rehearsing reveals so much more than research. How could I have known that the dramatic final movement, The Elegy, would be so cathartic? How could I have imagined the feeling of running in “late” as the Waltz Girl, or expected to embrace the quiet ceremony of taking my place among a crowd of strong, blue-clad women? This strange, wonderful job of mine surprises me every week.
I’ve heard it said that when you see a Balanchine ballet set to a Tchaikovsky score, you hear the music differently. He makes you hear it differently. Serenade seems like an ode to Tchaikovsky’s grand arrangement; the movement forms peaks and valleys, twirling up wind as the strings gather and letting ladies soar in the release.
Serenade was the first ballet Balanchine created in the United States. February 15th will mark the first performance of this legendary ballet in Rhode Island. We are making history, people! So can I get a witness?