Originally danced by Maria Tallchief and André Eglevsky, Balanchine created new choreography for this pas de deux when he staged the entire Harlequinade in 1965.
Riccardo Drigo (1846-1930) was born in Padua, Italy. He went to Russiain 1878 and remained there for over 40 years. He was the conductor of the Italian Opera in St. Petersburgin 1879 and in 1886 became the conductor and composer to the Imperial Ballet. He worked with most of the leading dancers and choreographers in Russia, and conducted the first performances of Tschaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty and Glazounov’s Raymonda. His own works were popular in their day and Harlequin’s Millions was internationally renowned.