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I George Balanchine....

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I was born Georgi Melitonovitch Balanchivadze in St. Petersburg, Russia, on January 22, 1904. I am the son of Meliton and Maria Balanchivadze. I was surrounded by music and artistic influences from a very early age. My father was a composer, therefore I studied the piano as a child frequently. However, at the age of ten, I entered the Imperial Ballet School, where I learned the precise and athletic Russian dancing style of ballet. In 1921 I entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music to study piano while I continued to work in ballet at the State Academy of Opera and Ballet. From there I used a group of dancers from the school to present my earliest choreographed works. One of the students was Tamara Gevergeyeva, she was a doll, I later married Tamara in 1922. She was the first of four wives I had, all of whom were dancers. My big break came when the manager of the Ballets Russes, Sergei Diaghilev, discovered me in 1925, in Paris, France. At the age of 21, I became the main choreographer of the most famous ballet company in the world. I worked on ten ballets for Diaghilev, and it was Diaghilev who actually changed the my name to Balanchine. When Diaghilev died and the company broke up in 1929, I moved from one company to another until I formed my own company, Les Ballets in 1933. In that same year, after a Les Ballets performance, I met Lincoln Kirstein, a young, rich American, who invited me to head a new School of American Ballet in New York City. With the School of American Ballet and later with the New York City Ballet, I had established myself as one of the world's leading classical choreographers. I brought standards of excellence and quality performance to the American ballet culture. I had a school, a company, and a permanent theater. I also had developed the New York City Ballet into the leading classical company in America and to some critics, in the world. Here I created some of my most enduring works, including my version of The Nutcracker and Agon. The piece I envision to create is a theatrical, modern day ballet piece centered around the ideas of love, secrets, and fidelity. This dance will center around a man who becomes seduced by the presence of four beautiful women, to whom each will represent a season in the year: Summer, Autumn, Fall, and Winter. Each woman takes her turn exploring love and romance with the gentleman only to later find the man’s selfish actions and feelings towards another woman will cause her heart to become broken, saddened and vulnerable. This creates much of what the audience will see in Act 1. Act 2 shall focus more on the man, himself. As the women eventually escape from the endless tricks, put on by the man, they plot and ploy a dangerous, rage fueled revenge on him that eventually leaves him beaten, alone, vulnerable, and with a swollen pride. In this moment he will encounter a woman unlike one he has ever seen before. Her beauty, presence, and knowledge becomes instantly desired and the man finds himself completely entranced. The woman will represent Mother Nature, and it will be her doing that eventually opens the man’s eyes and heart and forever changes him. I once was quoted saying: “The ballet is a purely female thing; it is a woman, a garden of beautiful flowers, and man is the gardener.” This ballet will show that relationship between man and woman. I intend to use six principal dancers from my company in New York, who will portray the main characters. Other female company dancers will be used to dance and express the elements seen within each season throughout the ballet. I intend to work and collaborate with modern day composer, Philip Glass. I find Glass’ style as a composer with repetitive structures that can also be heard with a more classical influence, to be the style that could really support the overall theme I am going for with this Ballet. I plan for the set of this ballet to be very simple, as much of mine have been in the past. I want the dancers to speak the language and create much of the atmosphere themselves. Lighting will be used heavily to accentuate much of the seasonal environments and moods. I enjoy ballet performances that use both classical and modern styles and to which express a story. The idea I have for this new ballet isn’t one I would consider out of the box for me and my line of work. I’m really interested in exploring the ideas of love and how we as human’s interpret that word. I feel the meaning of that word constantly changes and I’m hoping to put it into context that fits a more present day meaning but still mask it with a more classical, and beautiful imagery. I feel the biggest challenge for me is going to be the clarity of the message/story in the piece. I’m not sure yet as to how I will construct this ballet and it’s theatrics so that the audience will be able to grasp the story as well as appreciate the art. I would love it to be more than just a traditional ballet the world has seen over and over again. I tend to give it a more grimier vocabulary and and twist to those moments that show sorrow, heartache, etc. I am very driven and inspired by today’s culture and association with the idea of love. It feels to have really lost it’s meaning. Being a man whom has been married four times, I can relate in away as well.…...

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