Choreography: George Balanchine
Music: Peter I. Tchaikovsky
Costume Design: Barbara Karinska
Lighting Design: David Grill
Much of the material on this page is based on a description of Balanchine's ballet "Serenade" that appeared on BalletMet Columbus' website The original page is a set of notes compiled by Gerard Charles, BalletMet Columbus' Artistic Director.
All rights to the excellent description reproduced are the property of Balletmet Columbus and Gerald Charles. I (webmaster Chic) am reproducing much of that here for two reasons... It was composed in Microsoft Word 97, and posted almost as formatted by that word processor on the web. It is not beautiful and as a result, it is difficult to appreciate the beauty of Serenade due to the poor visual presentation. Second, the material is excellent and it would be a shame to lose it if the site were to go down or the page pulled, as I have seen happen with other sites relating to George Balanchine and E. Virginia Williams. c.f. a wonderful photo gallery on the site of a ballet school on the Isle of Mann, and a history of the early Boston Ballet Company by Emily Gresh. That would be a real loss to balletomanes everywhere, and our Arizona Ballet Theatre students in particular.
Premiere of Serenade by School of American Ballet, White Plains N.Y. June 9,1934
BalletMet premiere October 4, 1985
These notes compiled by Gerard Charles, BalletMet Columbus, February 1998
Balanchine wrote, "Serenade was my first ballet in the United States. Soon after my arrival in America, Lincoln Kirstein, Edward M. M. Warburg, and I opened the School of American Ballet in New York. As part of the school curriculum, I started an evening ballet class in stage technique, to give the students some idea of how dancing on stage differs from classwork. Serenade evolved from the lessons I gave.
"It seemed to me that the best way to make students aware of stage technique was to give them something new to dance, something they had never seen before. I chose Tchaikovsky's Serenade to work with. The class contained the first night, seventeen girls and no boys. The problem was, how to arrange this odd number of girls so that they would look interesting. I placed them on diagonal lines and decided that the hands should move first to give the girls practice.
"That was how Serenadebegan. The next class contained only nine girls; the third six. I choreographed to the music with the pupils I happened to have at a particular time. Boys began to attend the class and they were worked into the pattern. One day, when all the girls rushed off the floor area we were using as a stage, one of the girls fell and began to cry. I told the pianist to keep on playing and kept this bit in the dance. Another day, one of the girls was late for class, so I left that in too.
"Later, when we staged Serenade, everything was revised. The girls who couldn't dance well were left out of the more difficult parts; I elaborated on the small accidental bits I had included in class and made the whole more dramatic, more theatrical, synchronizing it to the music with additional movement, but always using little things that ordinarily might be overlooked.
"I've gone into a little detail here about Serenade because many people think there is a concealed story in the ballet. There is not. There are, simply, dancers in motion to a beautiful piece of music. The only story, a serenade, a dance, if you like, in the light of the moon."
Ruthanna Boris, an original member of the cast of Serenade, in the book I Remember Balanchine relates that "when Heidi Vosseler fell down in that first rehearsal Mr. Balanchine said "Stay." Then he put Kathryn Mullowny behind Charles Laskey, who was near sighted, to guide him to the fallen Heidi, with her hand over his eyes. "He can't see anyway" Balanchine said. From these beginnings the adagio grew. The well known moment where the man promenades the soloist lady in arabesque by holding just her knee was used for the first time by Balanchine in La Pastorale (1926) for Diaghilev's company. Mr. Balanchine has said that he was most inventive in his youth and borrowed freely from his earlier inspirations."
The first performance of Serenade was by students of the School of American Ballet at the estate of Felix M. Warburg, White Plains, New York, June 9, 1934. The occasion was the birthday of Edward M. M. Warburg, co-founder with Balanchine of the School of American Ballet, at his family's home. A stage was erected on the lawn with the piano accompanist hidden in the bushes. 200 guests were invited for the event, but after the opening sequence the performance was rained out and rescheduled for the following day, June 10. The program included two earlier Balanchine works, Les Songes and Mozartiana.
The public debut of ballet was by the newly named American Ballet at the Avery Memorial Theatre of the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Connecticut, December 6, 1934. Serenade was produced by the American Ballet in its first New York season at the Adelphi Theatre, March 1 - 15, 1935.
Balanchine kept the ballet alive with productions for American Ballet Caravan, Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, the European premiere of Serenade at the Paris Opera, April 30, 1946 and finally for the newly founded New York City Ballet in 1948, fifteen years to the day after he arrived in America. Serenade is now a staple of the repertoires of companies around the world.
The version of the Serenade that we know today was not the same as that presented at these early performances, although the opening Sonatina and final Elegy are fairly similar. Balanchine has a history of changing his ballets to suit his dancers and also his tastes. In the original staging there were only three boys, and there was no male dancer in the Waltz section. Today we have two principal men and four corps de ballet men in Serenade. Normally performed with three soloist ladies, for the Ballet Russes version Balanchine chose Marie-Jeane to dance all the leading roles as one. When the New York City Ballet made its London debut Balanchine divided the leading roles among five female soloists to show off the abundance of talent within his company.
Originally Balanchine only choreographed to three movements of Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings that was orchestrated by George Antheil. The "Russian" section (the last movement of the Tchaikovsky composition) was not added until Balanchine staged the work for the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo in 1940. Because Balanchine wished to keep the Elegy as the final movement, the Russian dance was inserted before it, rather than at the end of the work, as it is in the music. Balanchine writes "..... a few years ago I finally succeeded in expanding the ballet so that it now uses all of the score of the Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings, something I had wanted to do for a long time. The interesting thing is that while some knowing members of the audience noticed this change and spoke to me about it, the critics didn't seem to notice at all! Perhaps they had seen the ballet too often!" Balanchine also included a repeat in the Waltz section not indicated by Tchaikovsky.
To fully appreciate Serenade, it is helpful to know the background of its choreographer, George Balanchine, and how he came to create the new genre of dance that is embodied in his company, the New York City Ballet.
In Balanchine's own words, "Personally, I owe to Diaghilev my growth and development during the second period of my life. The first part of it I owe to the Russian Imperial Theatre where I was brought up, to its strict discipline, to its classicism, the basis of all ballet, to its two hundred-year-old tradition which instilled in me a love of all ballet and a respect for its history and artistic principles.
"The second period of my artistic life began in the Diaghilev company, where I learned to recognize what was great and valid in art, where I acquired the ability and strength to analyze a work of art on its true merits and where, finally, I learned to be on my own, to do what my artistic sense prompted me to do - in short, to be an artist. All this I owe to Diaghilev without any reservation."
On the occasion of the twenty fifth anniversary of Diaghilev's death Balanchine wrote in Dance News: "Perhaps it is only today, almost twenty-five years after his death, that all contemporary choreographers begin to realize the true proportions of the enormous artistic debt we all owe Serge Diaghilev. If we analyze the work we have done since his death in 1929, we see we are still following in his footsteps, still adhering to the principals laid down by him during the twenty years he guided the fortunes of his unique Ballets Russes."
Balanchines's style of dance has been described as neo-classical, but what are his trademarks? His movement vocabulary encompasses influences from many different dance sources and is always reflective of the music used. His movements are athletic, are emphasized by their speed and attack, and cover plenty of space. He favored taller bodied dancers with high leg extensions and long body lines. There is much beauty to be found in his patterns and the intense musicality of his work which often led to the creation of abstract interpretations of the music. Balanchine said, "Dance can be enjoyed and understood without any verbal introduction or explanation. The important thing in ballet is the movement itself, as it is sound which is important in a symphony. A ballet may contain a story, but the visual spectacle, not the story, is the essential element."
Although primarily a creator of ballets without a plot Balanchine did find success with ballets that carry a story line, for instance, Prodigal Son, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Nutcracker. He has paid homage to his Russian classical roots with ballets such as Ballet Imperial and Diamonds, been on a cutting edge with ballets such as Agon and The Four Temperaments and created audience pleasing spectaculars in the form of Stars and Stripes and Union Jack. Balanchine was not beyond a little commercialism, notably his use of the Pan Am jingle for his 1971 PAMTGG (Pan Am makes the going great). In 1942 he created a ballet for "fifty elephants and fifty beautiful girls" for the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus. The music entitled Circus Polka was commissioned from Igor Stravinsky and used in 1945 for a ballet of the same name. Balanchine also choreographed for Broadway shows and Hollywood musicals.
Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings dates from September - November 1880, the same period of composition as the 1812 Overture which was written in honor of the silver jubilee of Tsar Alexander II. As Tchaikovsky hated such tasks, he wrote the Serenade as a reward to himself. The pieces could hardly be more different. "The Serenade...I wrote from an inward impulse; I felt it, and venture to hope that this work in not without artistic merit" he wrote to Mme. von Meck. The Serenade was originally conceived as a string quintet, but Tchaikovsky reworked it for string orchestra.
Tchaikovsky called the first movement his homage to Mozart, and the spirit of Mozart can be sensed in the refinement and grace of the work. "It is intended to be an imitation of his style, and I should be delighted if I thought I had in any way approached my model," he wrote. The second movement is a waltz, a simple theme inventively rescored at each of its appearances. The third movement is an Elegy (the last movement of the ballet) and the Finale (third in the ballet) is based on a Russian folk-tune with the opening theme of the first movement returning at the end.
Serenade for Strings was choreographed by Fokine as Eros using just three movements of the work.
Jo Mielzinger had designed costumes for the first performance of Serenade but it was decided that they were inappropriate, so the girls wore rehearsal type tarlatan skirts with department store bought shirts for the boys. For the public debut of ballet at the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Connecticut, December 6, 1934 there were costumes by Jean Lurçat which were described as "too fussy." New costumes were designed by Alvin Cole for the 1941 production for American Ballet Caravan and by André Delfau for the European premiere of Serenade at the Paris Opera, April 30 1946.
The costumes for today's [Balletmet Columbus] productions of Serenade were designed by Barbara Karinska in 1952. They are pale blue, romantic length skirts that recall Les Sylphides, a work Balanchine admired in his youth. The men went from powder blue costumes to dark blue in 1982.
There is no scenery for today's [Balletmet Columbus] productions, but originally Serenade had sets by Gaston Longchamp. These were discarded, in keeping with Balanchine's desire that his movement be the focal point of his ballets.
World Events Of 1934
To put the ballet in perspective, it is interesting to note some world events that were taking place at the same time as the creation of Serenade
Other artistic debuts:
George Balanchine, choreographer
Balanchine (Georgi Melitonovich Balanchivadze) was born in St. Petersburg (Jan 22, 1904) into a very musical family and began studying the piano at age 5. He received a classical education, acting and dance training, beginning at age 9, from the Imperial Ballet School in St. Petersburg. It was originally thought that young Georgi would become one of the Tsar's cadets, so it was with the thought that if things didn't work out at the ballet school he could always join the army. In fact, in his first year he was not at all thrilled by what he was learning. It was only once he got to perform in the Maryinsky Theatre that Balanchine became enamored of the theater.
Balanchine was raised on the dance traditions of the classical Russian ballet established by Petipa. Despite having all the best teachers and dancers in the world at the time Balanchine states that "Contrary to popular belief, ballet was not taken very seriously by the Russian public. It was an entertainment almost exclusively for the aristocracy, among whom there were perhaps only a few gentlemen who were not primarily interested in what the ballerinas were doing after the performance." This changed with the revolution. Ballet was banned for a period until the Minister of Education, Lunacharsky, a balletomane, persuaded the authorities to gradually reinstate ballet.
Balanchine joined the now Kirov ballet as a professional dancer at age 17 and at the same time entered the Conservatory of Music in St. Petersburg. For three years he studied theory, composition and piano. He became a skilled conductor and pianist and often played for graduating student performances at the Imperial Russian Ballet School.
Balanchine's choreography upset his traditionally minded superiors from early on; however, at age twenty he was able to form a group of four dancers and gained permission to tour with them outside the Soviet Union. It was on this tour of "Soviet State Dancers" in 1924 that he met Diaghilev who immediately offered him a job. It was when Balanchine began to work with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes that he became exposed to a stimulating array of choreographers, composers and artists such as Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Satie, Ravel, Picasso, Cocteau and Chagall. Diaghilev promoted Balanchine as a choreographer and in 1925, at age 21, made him ballet master for his company. A knee injury that limited his dancing career gave Balanchine more time to concentrate on choreography.
After the death of Diaghilev, Balanchine spent a few years in Europe working on a variety of dance projects from ballet to film to revues. In Paris he formed his own company, Les Ballets 1933, where he worked with the likes of Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht and Darius Milhaud. It was in 1933 that Lincoln Kirstein persuaded Balanchine to go to the United States to help establish an American school of ballet equivalent to those found in Europe. In America Balanchine was stimulated by new dance forms and alloyed them to his broad experiences thus far. The founding of the School of American Ballet in 1934 and the New York City Ballet in 1948 gave Balanchine the forums to institutionalize and present new dance techniques and ideas to the world.
Balanchine was married to four of his ballerinas, Tamara Geva, Vera Zorina (1938-46), Maria Tallchief (1946-52) and Tanaquil LeClerc (1952-69).
Balanchine died in New York City, April 30, 1983.
Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, composer
Barbara Karinska, costume designer
Barbara Karinska was born in Kharkov, Russia, in October, 1886. She studied for a career in law in Kharkov and then Moscow. At the early signs of the Russian Revolution, she returned home where she established a milliner's shop. She also ran an embroidery shop in Moscow before leaving the country after the October revolution of 1917.
Karinska worked in Paris making costumes for designers Christian Bérard and André Derain who were designing for Balanchine's Les Ballets 1933. She also made costumes designed by Cecil Beaton for Ashton's Apparitions (1936) and worked with Salvador Dali and Marc Chagall.
In 1938 Karinska settled in New York where beginning in 1949, she designed many ballet costumes for Balanchine including; Bourrée Fantasque (her first), Serenade, La Valse, Stars and Stripes, The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Liebeslieder Waltzes, Bugaku, Divertimento No. 15, Symphony in C. and Jewels.
Karinska also designed and executed costumes for the theater and cinema. In 1948 she won an Oscar for her costuming of Ingrid Bergman in Joan of Arc and in 1962 received the Capezio Award in recognition of her contribution to dance.
Karinska died in New York City in October 1983.
Chronological List Of Works Of Balanchine
La Nuit, Schön Rosmarin
Waltz, Waltz and Adagia, Romanza, Waltz, Valse Triste, Matelotte, Orientalia, Hungarian Gypsy Dance.
Valse Caprice, Columbine's Veil, La Mort du Cygne, Adagio, Spanish Dacne, Marche Funèbre, Waltz, Extase, Pas de deux, Polka, Le Coq d'Or, Enigma, Ceasar and Cleopatra, Eugene the Unfortunate, Chorus Reading, Étude, Oriental Dance, Elegy
Pas de Deux,Invitation to the Dance, Le Boeuf sur le Toit and Pulcinella
Pizzicato Polka, Valse Caprice, Carmen, Thaïs, Manon, Le Hulla, Le Démon, Hopac, Fay-Yen-fah, Faust, Hérodiade, Un Début, L'Enfant et les Sortilèges, La Damnation de Faust, Étude, Polka Mélancholique, Le Chant du Rossignol, Barbau
Boris Godunov, Judith, L'Hirondelle, Lakmé,Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Jeanne d'Arc, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, La Pastorale, Jack in the Box, The Triumph of Neptune
Aurora's Wedding: Ariadne and Her Brothers, Samson et Dalila, La Traviata, Turandot, La Damnation de Faust, Ivan le Terrible, Obéron, La Chatte, Grotesque Espagnol, Sarcasm, Swan Lake
Mireille, Les Maitres Chanteurs, Venise, Sioir Todéro Brontolon, Un Bal Masqué, Don Juan, La Fille d'Abdoubarahah, Aleko, Apollon Musagète, The Gods Go A-Begging
Roméo et Juliette, La Gioconda, Rigoletto, La Femme Nue, Martha, Wake Up and Dream!, La Croisade des Dames, Le Bal, Le Fils Prodigue, Pas de Deux (Moods), Les Créatures de Prométhée, Dark Red Roses
Aubade, Charles B. Cochran's 1930 Revue, Den Trekantede Hat, Schéhérazade, Lagetøjsbutiken (La Boutique Fantsque), Fyrst Igor (Prince Igor), Rosendrømmen.
Josef-Legende, Dances for Sir Oswald Stoll's Variety Shows, Charles B. Cochran's 1931 Revue,Orphée aux Enfers
Les Amours du Poéte, Tannhäuser, Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Le Prophète, Une Nuit á Venise, Lakmé, Samson et Dalila, Faust, Patrie, Hérodiade, Turandot, Rigoletto, Manon, La Traviata, Roméo et Juliette, Fay-Yen-Fah, Aïda, Carmen, La Périchole, Cotillon, La Concurrence, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, Suites de Danse, Numéro les Canotiers
Mozartiana, Les Songes, Les Sept Péchés Capitaux, Fastes, L'Errante, Les Valses de Beethoven, Dans l'Elysée
Serenade, Alma Mater, Errante, Reminiscence, Dreams, Transcendence, Jeanne d'Arc, Mozartiana, La Traviata, Faust, Aïda, Lakmé, Tannhäuser, Carmen, Rigoletto
Mignon, Manon, La Juive, La Rondine, Ziegfeld Follies: 1936 Edition, Die Mastersingers von Nüremberg, Serenata: "Magic", Concerto, On Your Toes, The Bartered Bride, Lucia di Lammermoor, The Bat, Orpheus and Eurydice, Samson et Dalila
Le Coq d'Or, Caponsacchi, La Gioconda, Babes in Arms, Apollon Musagete, The Card Party, Le Baiser de la Fée, Mârouf, Roméo et Juliette
Don Giovanni, I Married an Angel, The Boys from Syracuse, The Great Lady, Goldwyn Follies
On Your Toes
Keep Off the Grass, Louisiana Purchase, Pas de deux-Blues, Cabin in the Sky, I Was an Adventuress
Balustrade, Serenate, Ballet Imperial, Concerto Barocco, Divertimento, Alma Errante, Apolo Musageta, El Murciélago, Fantasia Brasiliera
The Lady Comes Across, The Ballet of the Elephants, Pas de Trois for Piano and Two Dancers, Maruf, Concierto de Mozart, Rosalinda, The Opera Cloak, The Fair as Sorochinsk, La Vie Parisienne, The Queen of Spades, Macbeth, Star Spangled Rhythm
Helen of Troy, The Crucifiction of Christ, The Merry Widow, What's Up
Dream with Music, Song of Norway, Danses Concertantes, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, Waltz Academy, Sentimental Colloquy
The Tempest, Aïda, Fausto, Sansón y Dalila, Mr. Strauss Goes to Boston, Circus Polka
Resurgence, The Night Shadow, Raymonda, Giselle: Act II Grave Scene, The Spellbound Child, The Four Tempraments
Renard, Divertimento, The Chocolate Soldier, Le Palais de Cristal, Symphonie Concertante, Theme and Variations
The Triumph of Bacchus, Symphony in C., Élégie, Orpheus, Pas de Trois Classique, Carmen, Where's Charley?, Concerto Barocco, The Marriage of Figaro, La Traviatta, Don Giovanni, Serenade, Aïda, Eugen Onegin, The Madwoman of Chaillot
Troubled Island, Princess Aurora, The Tales of Hoffmann, Cinderella, Don Quixote pas de deux, Swan Lake pas de duex, La Mort du Cygne, Firebird, Bourée Fantasque
Prodigal Son, Pas de Deux Romantique, Jones Beach, Trumpet Concerto, The Fairy's Kiss, Mazurka from "A Life for the Tsar", Sylvia pas de deux
Music and Dance, The Card Game, Pas de Trois, La Valse, Romeo and Juliet, Capriccio Brillant, Courtin' Time, The Sleeping Beauty (Variation), À la Francaix, Tyl Ulenspiegel, Apollo, Leader of the Muses, Swan Lake
Caracole, Boyou, Scotch Symphony, Metamorphoses, Harliquinade pas de deux, One, Yuletide Square, Concertino
Valse Fantasie, The Countess Becomes the Maid, The Rake's Progress, La Favorita, Boris Godunov, Adriana Lecouvreur, Amahl and the Night Visitors
Opus 34, The Nutcracker, Western Symphony, Ivesiana, House of Flowers
Roma, Pas de Trois, The Tempest, Pas de Dix, Jeux d'Enfants
The Magic Flute, Allegro Brillante, A Musical Joke, Divertimento No. 15
Square Dance, Agon
Gounod Symphony, Stars and Stripes, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Winter's Tale, Waltz-Scherzo, The Seven Deadly Sins
Native Dancers, Episodes, Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Warrior
Night Shadow, Panamerica, Theme and Variations, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, The Figure in the Carpet, Donizetti Variations (Variations from Don Sebastian), Momentum pro Gesualdo, Liebeslieder Walzer, Ragtime
Modern Jazz: Varients, Electronics, Raymonda Variations (Valses et Variations)
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Eugene Onegin, Noah and the Flood
Bugaku, Movements for Piano and Orchestra, Orpheus und Eurydice, Meditation
Tarantella, Clarinade, Ballet Imperial
Harliquinade, Don Quixote
Variations, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Élégie, Ragtime(II)
Trois Valses Romantiques, Jewels, Glinkiana
Metastaseis & Pithoprakta, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Requiem Canticles, Diana and Actaeon pas de deux, La Source
Ruslan und Ludmilla, Valse Fantasie, Le Lac des Cygnes
Who Cares?, Suite No. 3
Concerto for Jazz Band and Orchestra, PAMTGG
Sonata, Symphony in Three Movements, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Danses Concertantes, Divertimento from "Le Baiser de las Fée, Scherzo á la Russe, Duo Concertant, Pulcinella, Choral Variations on Bach's "Von Himmel Hoch", Symphony of Psalms
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, Prince Igor,Cortège Hongrois, Begin the Beguine
Variations pour une Porte et un Soupir, Coppélia, Boris Godunov
Sonatine, L'Enfant et les Sortileges, Shéhérazade, Le Tombeau de Couperin, Pavane, Tzigane, Gaspard de las Nuit, Rapsodie Espagnole, Faust, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Orfeo et Euridice
Chaconne, Union Jack, Pal Joey, The Reluctant King
The Sleeping Beauty, Étude for Piano, Vienna Waltzes
Ballo della Regina, Kammermusik No. 2, Tricolore
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, Dido and Aneas
Ballade, Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, Robert Schumann's "Davidsbündlertänze"
The Spellbound Child, Mozartiana, Tempo di Valse; from Sleeping Beauty, Hungarian Gypsy Airs, Symphony No. 6 - Pathétique: Fourth Movement, Adagio, Lamentoso
Tango, Noah and the Flood, Élégie, Perséphone, Variations for Orchestra.
Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings is available on many recordings. Recommended are:
Berlin Philharmonic/ Herbert von Karajan. D.G. Galleria. 415 855-2
A Balanchine Album, New York City Ballet Orchestra/Robert Irving Nonesuch 9 79135-2
The Lives of the Great Composers by Harold C. Schonberg. W.W. Norton Co., 1981.
101 Stories of the Gret Ballets by George Balanchine and Francis Mason. Doubleday and Company Inc., 1975.
Thirty Years. Lincoln Kirstein's The New York City Ballet by Lincoln Kirstein. Alfred A. Knopf, 1978.
Ballet Notes of the National Ballet of Canada compiled by Assis Carriero.
Choreography by George Balanchine. A Catalogue of Works. Eakins Press Foundation/Viking Press, 1984.
This page is based on a description of Balanchine's ballet "Serenade" that appeared on BalletMet Columbus' website The original page is a set of notes compiled by Gerard Charles, BalletMet Columbus' Artistic Director.
As reported in a recent article. "BalletMet Columbus and Cincinnati Ballet Present Swan Lake", Gerard Charles was named BalletMet Columbus’ Artistic Director in 2001, having served as Interim Artistic Director and Associate Artistic Director for the previous three seasons. Trained at the RoyalBalletSchool in London, Charles danced professionally for Ballet International in London, Milwaukee Ballet and BalletMet. Upon retiring from the stage, he served as Ballet Master for BalletMet (1987-91) and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens (1991-95), returning to BalletMet as Ballet Master. Charles is the recipient of an NEA Choreography Fellowship and has created works for BalletMet including Alice in Wonderland, The Nutcracker and Aladdin.
All rights to the excellent description reproduced above are the property of Balletmet Columbus and Gerald Charles. I (webmaster Chic) am reproducing much of that here for two reasons... It was composed in Microsoft Word 97, and posted almost as formatted by that word processor on the web. It is not beautiful and as a result, it is difficult to appreciate the beauty of Serenade due to the poor visual presentation. Second, the material is excellent and it would be a shame to lose it if the site were to go down or the page pulled, as I have seen happen with other sites relating to George Balanchine and E. Virginia Williams. c.f. a wonderful photo gallery on the site of a ballet school on the Isle of Mann, and a history of the early Boston Ballet Company by Emily Gresh. That would be a real loss to balletomanes everywhere, and our Arizona Ballet Theatre students in particular.