The Kennedy Center


The Suzanne Farrell Ballet: All-Balanchine Program

Friday, October 21, 2016 - Sunday, October 23, 2016

Ballet & Contemporary Dance Ballet

The Kennedy Center's own ballet company celebrates its 15th season with a program of three Balanchine classics: the company premieres of the rarely seen Gounod Symphony and the patriotic Stars & Stripes, and the return of the audience favorite Danses Concertantes.

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Suzanne Farrell, Artistic Director

ALL-BALANCHINE PROGRAM [Running Time: Approximately 2 hours] 
Danses Concertantes (Stravinsky/Balanchine) [21 min., followed by 20-min. intermission] 
Gounod Symphony (Gounod/Balanchine) [25 min., followed by 20-min. intermission] 
Stars and Stripes (Sousa arr. Kay/Balanchine) [30 min.]

with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra

"One of America's most valuable companies"--The New York Times

Suzanne Farrell "has found a way to give us something new… and to offer us fresh perspectives on [Balanchine's] genius."--The Washington Post

For its 15th season as the Kennedy Center`s own ballet company, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet brings a vibrant program that includes two large-scale company premieres, specially chosen to showcase the emotional range and talents of her dancers and Balanchine. One is a revival of a rarely performed work to be staged as part of Suzanne Farrell`s Balanchine Preservation Initiative; the other is a timely, grand salute to America that will be performed in the days leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

Choreographed in 1958 to Charles Gounod`s Symphony No. 1, Gounod Symphony is an unabashed celebration of the corps: 20 women and 10 men weave in and out of nonstop geometric patterns and spirals as two principal dancers summon Balanchine`s classical inspirations. Ms. Farrell intends to update the production by re-costuming the ballet. Also created in 1958, Stars and Stripes is divided into five "campaigns" in which more than 40 dancers perform to various marches by John Philip Sousa, complete with baton twirling, military formations, and rifle-bearing ballerinas. Over the years, Balanchine`s exuberantly patriotic ballet has been staged for many landmark moments in American history, including a tribute to President John F. Kennedy.

The Suzanne Farrell Ballet also brings back audience favorite Danses Concertantes, another rarely performed workas part of the Balanchine Preservation Initiative that features music by Stravinsky. "Though the ballet has no story, it does have a brassy, witty, humorous vibe to it," says Ms. Farrell. Read herfull Notes from the Ballet on this treasured work.

Watch and Listen

World Ballet Day 2016: Suzanne Farrell Ballet Rehearsal