Kansas City Ballet in Valse-Fantaisie in spring 2007. Photographer Steve Wilson.
Kansas City Ballet in Valse-Fantaisie in spring 2007. Photographer Steve Wilson.

Choreography: George Balanchine
Music: Mikhail Glinka

Although Glinka’s score is fast and light, it was often known as “the Melancholy Waltz”.

Balanchine was drawn to the joyfulness of the composer’s waltz rhythms and used only a limited number of movement motifs upon which to spin intricate variations in this exhilarating masterpiece.

Mikhail Glinka (1804 – 1857), Russia’s first national composer, has been called the Mozart of his country. He is best known for his operas A Life for the Tsar and Ruslan and Ludmila. As a student at the Maryinsky Theatre, Balanchine danced in the latter; in 1969 he directed and choreographed the opera for the State Opera of Hamburg.


World Premiere: November 23, 1967, New York City Ballet, New York State Theatre

Kansas City Ballet Premiere: May 1982, Lyric Theatre


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