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Introduction to the Database

Preface by Lincoln Kirstein

Chronology: Life and Works
Roles Performed By Balanchine

Chronological Title List
Titles By Category

Festivals Directed By Balanchine

Itineraries Undertaken by
Balanchine's American

Research Resources

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Choreography: By George Balanchine.

Production: Scenery and costumes by Dorothea Tanning. Scenery executed by E. B. Dunkel Studios; costumes executed by Karinska.

Premiere: February 27, 1946, Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, City Center of Music and Drama, New York. Conductor: Emanuel Balaban.

Cast: The Sleepwalker, Alexandra Danilova; The Poet, Nicholas Magallanes; The Coquette, Maria Tallchief; The Host (Husband of the Sleepwalker), Michel Katcharoff; Guests at the Ball, 8 couples; ENTERTAINERS AT THE BALL: SHEPHERDS' DANCE: 2 couples; BLACKAMOORS' DANCE: Ruthanna Boris, Leon Danielian; HARLEQUIN DANCE: Marie-Jeanne; HOOP DANCE: 4 women.

Note: At a masked ball with entertainments, the Poet pays suit to the Coquette, who is escorted by the Host. After the guests go in to supper an apparition in white enters, a beautiful Sleepwalker. Entranced, the Poet tries to wake her, but she eludes him. The jealous Coquette informs the Host who, enraged, stabs the Poet. The Sleepwalker reappears and bears the Poet's body away. The role of the Poet was choreographed on Frederic Franklin, who could not perform at the premiere owing to injury.

Revisions: The Entertainers' dances (also called DIVERTISSEMENTS) have been changed often by the many companies that have staged the ballet. Examples in three principal companies include: Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas: MOORISH DANCE sometimes substituted for BLACKAMOORS' DANCE; until about 1950, HARLEQUIN DANCE omitted; 1950, SHEPHERDS' DANCE (PASTORALE) changed from two couples to one, HOOP DANCE replaced by ACROBATS' DANCE for three (various combinations of men and women). New York City Ballet: 1960, name changed from Night Shadow to La Sonnambula, HARLEQUIN DANCE restored (for a man instead of a woman; frequently altered for various performers), ACROBATS' DANCE retained from de Cuevas production (HOOP DANCE omitted); 1967, SHEPHERDS' DANCE (PASTORALE) changed from two couples to a pas de trois for a virtuoso man and two women; 1979, BLACKAMOORS' DANCE eliminated. American Ballet Theatre: 1981, HOOP DANCE rechoreographed by John Taras as GYPSY DANCE, BLACKAMOORS' DANCE retitled DANSE EXOTIQUE.

New Productions by Balanchine Companies: 1960, New York City Ballet, with scenery and lighting by Esteban Francés and costumes by André Levasseur.

Video/DVD: 1995, Nonesuch, The Balanchine Library: Dancing for Mr. B (rehearsal excerpt); 2005, Zeitgeist Films, Ballets Russes (excerpt).

Archival Video: George Balanchine Foundation Interpreters Archive (Sleepwalker pas de deux, finale), 2001; (Sleepwalker pas de deux, Coquette pas de deux, finale), forthcoming.

Music And Book: By Vittorio Rieti, based on themes from operas by Vincenzo Bellini (1830-35, including La Sonnambula, I Puritani, Norma, and I Capuletti ed i Montecchi).

See also: 328  

Television:    hide...
1948(British television)
1958(BBC [London])
1963Sleepwalker pas de deux (NBC)
1966excerpt (CBS, Camera Three)
1988(PBS, Dance in America, "An Evening at ABT")
1989(BBC [London])
1991excerpts (French television, FR3, "Le Ballet national de Nancy")
1993excerpts(French television, FR3)
196[?] Sleepwalker pas de deux (BBC [London], Music for You)
Source notes:    hide...

 Additional music information provided by Vittorio Rieti; additional revisions and stagings information provided by Rosemary Dunleavy, John Taras, Frederic Franklin.

Stagings:    hide...

1948   Grand Ballet de Monte-Carlo (1947-1951)

1955   Netherlands Ballet (in 1961 became Dutch National Ballet)

1955   Royal Danish Ballet

1957   Ballets de Paques (Monte Carlo)

1960   Netherlands Ballet (in 1961 became Dutch National Ballet)

1960   New York City Ballet

1961   Ballet Rambert (London)

1964   Geneva Ballet (Grand Theatre de Geneve [Ballet])

1965   National Ballet (Washington, D.C., 1963-1974)

1967   English National Ballet (London Festival)

1970   Ballet de San Juan

1971   Dutch National Ballet

1972   Geneva Ballet (Grand Theatre de Geneve [Ballet])

1972   Grand Theatre de Bordeaux

1974   San Francisco Ballet

1975   Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

1977   Louisville Ballet

1977   Turino Opera (Italy)

1978   Ballet de Nancy (France)

1979   Dallas Ballet

1980   American Ballet Theatre

1980   Boston Ballet

1981   American Ballet Theatre

1983   Ballet du Nord (France)

1984   Ballet Dallas

1985   Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

1986   Ballet du Nord (France)

1986   Cincinnati Ballet

1987   American Ballet Theatre

1987   Kansas City Ballet

1987   Louisville Ballet

1988   Arena di Verona (Italy)

1988   Ballet du Nord (France)

1988   Boston Ballet

1988   Tulsa Ballet Theatre

1989   American Ballet Theatre

1990   Ballet de Nancy (France)

1990   Indianapolis Ballet Theatre

1990   Kansas City Ballet

1990   Louisville Ballet

1991   Universal Ballet Company (Korea)

1992   Den Norske Opera [Ballet] (Norway)

1993   The Australian Ballet

1993   Boston Ballet

1993   Cincinnati Ballet

1993   Les Grands Ballets Canadiens

1993   Pennsylvania Ballet

1994   Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

1994   Universal Ballet Company (Korea)

1996   Kansas City Ballet

1997   Aterballetto-Centro Regionale della Danza (Reggio Emilia, Italy)

1997   Hungarian National Ballet

1998   Teatro alla Scala (Milan)

2001   Universal Ballet Company (Korea)

2002   Ballet de Nancy (France)

2002   Cincinnati Ballet

2002   Texas Ballet (formerly Fort Worth Dallas Ballet)

2005   Ballet Arizona

2006   Miami City Ballet

2008   Ballet Arizona

2008   Suzanne Farrell Ballet

2009   Carolina Ballet

2009   North Carolina Dance Theater

2009   Royal Danish Ballet

2010   Suzanne Farrell Ballet

2011   Miami City Ballet

2013   Los Angeles Ballet

2015   Ballet Arizona

2015   Perm State Ballet

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