Music: By Anton Webern (complete orchestral works, as given below).
Choreography: By Martha Graham (Part I) and George Balanchine (Part II).
Production: Scenery and lighting by David Hays. Costumes for Part I by Karinska. Scenery executed by Chester Rakeman Studios, S. C. Hansen and Decorator Plant Company; later by Nolan Brothers.
Premiere: May 14, 1959, New York City Ballet, City Center of Music and Drama, New York.
Conductor: Robert Irving.
Cast: Part 1. (Passacaglia, Op. I, 1906, and Six Pieces, Op. 6, 1910): Mary, Queen of Scots, Martha Graham; Bothwell, Bertram Ross; Elizabeth, Queen of England, Sallie Wilson (of the New York City Ballet); The Four Marys, 4 women; Darnley, Riccio, Chastelard, 3 men; Executioner; 2 Heralds.
Part II. SYMPHONY (Op. 21, 1928): Violette Verdy, Jonathan Watts, 3 couples; FIVE PIECES (Op. 10, 1911-13): Diana Adams, Jacques d'Amboise; CONCERTO (Op. 24, 1934): Allegra Kent, Nicholas Magallanes, 4 women; VARIATIONS (Op. 30, 1940): Paul Taylor (of the Martha Graham Dance Company); RICERCATA (in 6 voices from Bach's Musical Offering, 1935): Melissa Hayden, Francisco Moncion, 14 women.
Note: A Ballet Society production. Conceived by Balanchine as an homage to the atonal composer Webern, Episodes is set to his complete orchestral works. Martha Graham by invitation choreographed Part I (a narrative, in period costume) for her company; Balanchine choreographed Part II (plotless, danced in practice clothes) for the New York City Ballet. The VARIATIONS FOR ORCHESTRA consists of a theme and six variations for a single male dancer, choreographed for Paul Taylor, then a member of the Graham Company. The final part, the RICERCATA, is a tribute by Webern to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The full ballet was performed by both companies for two seasons. In 1960, the New York City Ballet presented its part alone as Episodes II; from 1961 this was performed as Episodes, without the solo created for Paul Taylor. In 1986, Taylor reconstructed his solo, which was performed as part of the ballet for a few seasons.
Film: 1973, RM Productions.
Archival Video: George Balanchine Foundation Interpreters Archive (RICERCATA), forthcoming.