George Balanchine’s tour de force of invention, Thèmes et Variations, presented in all its fantasy by the renowned Paris Opera Ballet. Maxime Pascal leads the Paris Opera Orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s captivating “Tema con variazioni” from his Suite for Orchestra No. 3.
The musical form of “theme and variations” has fascinated composers and audiences alike for centuries: like light reflected through a prism, the form's gradual progression from simplicity to complexity helps us see one beautiful melody from a thousand different perspectives. In Thème et Variations, premiered in 1947 by the American Ballet Theatre, George Balanchine employed his famed musical sensitivity to create an incredibly compelling danced interpretation of the form. Mirroring the musical form, his choreography begins with simple steps and gestures, and crescendos in a complexity matching Tchaikovsky’s music. He traces counterpoint with human movement, alternating between solo and ensemble pieces, and finds inspiration in everything from Marius Petipa’s classical dance to the jazzy moves of Broadway. An exceptional performance of one of the masterpieces of neoclassical ballet!
Photo: © ML Briane