Ballet Imperial (Piano Concerto No. 2)

Set in the grandeur of a palace and with a scenic backdrop suggesting the splendors of the Imperial capital of Russia, this ballet is a tribute to St. Petersburg, Petipa, and Tschaikovsky.

Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky (1840-1893) studied at the Conservatory in St. Petersburg, where Balanchine later studied piano in addition to his studies in dance. Tschaikovsky is one of the most popular and influential of all romantic composers. His work is expressive, melodic, and grand in scale, with rich orchestrations. His output was prodigious and included chamber works, symphonies, concerti for various instruments, operas, and works for the piano. His creations for the ballet, composed in close partnership with Marius Petipa, include Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and The Sleeping Beauty.

Repertory notes provided courtesy of and adapted from New York City Ballet Online Repertory Index. Additional sources: Choreography by George Balanchine: A Catalogue of Works, An Eakins Press Foundation Book, published by Viking (1984); and Repertory in Review: 40 Years of the New York City Ballet by Nancy Reynolds (1970; The Dial Press).
Photo credit: Photo uncredited, Courtesy of New York City Ballet Archives, Ballet Society Collection
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Choreography:  George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Music:  Piano Concerto No.2 in G major, Op. 44
Composer:  Tschaikovsky, Peter Ilyitch
Premiere:  1941
Average Length:  36 minutes
No. Dancers:  29