Music: By George Gershwin (songs as given below), orchestrated by Hershy Kay.
Choreography: By George Balanchine.
Production: Costumes by Karinska. Lighting by Ronald Bates.
Premiere: February 5, 1970, New York City Ballet, New York State Theater.
Conductor: Robert Irving. Pianist on opening night (orchestration had been completed only for Strike Up the Band and I Got Rhythm): Gordon Boelzner. Clap Yo' Hands played by George Gershwin, recorded.
Cast: Karin von Aroldingen, Patricia McBride, Marnee Morris, Jacques d'Amboise, 15 women, 5 men.
STRIKE UP THE BAND (1927): Ensemble. SWEET AND LOW DOWN (1925): Ensemble. SOMEBODY LOVES ME (1924): Deborah Flomine, Susan Hendl, Linda Merrill, Susan Pilarre, Bettijane Sills. BIDIN' MY TIME (1930): Deni Lamont, Robert Maiorano, Frank Ohman, Richard Rapp, Earle Sieveling. 'S WONDERFUL (1927): Pilarre, Rapp. THAT CERTAIN FEELING (1925): Flomine, Lamont; Sills, Sieveling. DO DO DO (1926): Hendl, Ohman. LADY BE GOOD (1924): Merrill, Maiorano. REPEAT: Ensemble. THE MAN I LOVE (1924): McBride, d'Amboise. I'LL BUILD A STAIRWAY TO PARADISE (1922): von Aroldingen. EMBRACEABLE YOU (1930): Morris, d'Amboise. FASCINATIN' RHYTHM (1924): McBride. WHO CARES? (1931): von Aroldingen, d'Amboise. MY ONE AND ONLY (1927): Morris. LIZA (1929): d'Amboise. CLAP YO' HANDS (1926): von Aroldingen, McBride, Morris, d'Amboise. I GOT RHYTHM (1930): Entire cast.
Note: Balanchine and Gershwin had discussed a collaboration before the composer's death in 1937. Thirty-three years later, Balanchine selected and formed into this ballet seventeen of Gershwin's classic songs from Broadway musicals. First performed with costumes but without décor; from November 1970, with scenery by Jo Mielziner. On opening night Balanchine was presented with the Handel Medallion, New York City's highest cultural award, by Mayor John V. Lindsay. The ballet is sometimes performed in "concert version," which consists of the solos and pas de deux for the principal dancers, namely THE MAN I LOVE; I'LL BUILD A STAIRWAY TO PARADISE; EMBRACEABLE YOU; FASCINATIN' RHYTHM; WHO CARES?; MY ONE AND ONLY; I GOT RHYTHM (arranged for four dancers).
New Productions by Balanchine Companies: 1983, New York City Ballet: New costumes by Ben Benson (commissioned by Balanchine before his death).
Video/DVD: 1996, The Balanchine Library: The Balanchine Celebration, Part Two (THE MAN I LOVE, STAIRWAY TO PARADISE, EMBRACEABLE YOU, FASCINATIN' RHYTHM, WHO CARES?, MY ONE AND ONLY, LIZA, I GOT RHYTHM ); 2004, Kultur, Balanchine (STAIRWAY TO PARADISE).
Revisions: 1976, New York City Ballet: CLAP YO' HANDS eliminated.