Stravinsky told Balanchine that Movements for Piano and Orchestra might just as well have been called “Electric Currents.” Balanchine said of this intricate piece: “Nothing gave me greater pleasure afterwards than Stravinsky’s saying the performance ‘was like a tour of a building for which I had drawn the plans but never explored the result.'”
Although Monumentum pro Gesualdo and Movements for Piano and Orchestra were choreographed separately, Balanchine eventually paired them for performance and retained this arrangement after 1966.
Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), born in Russia, is acknowledged as one of the great composers of the twentieth century. His work encompassed styles as diverse as Romanticism, Neoclassicism, and Serialism. His ballets for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes included The Firebird, Petrushka, The Rite of Spring, and Apollo. His music has been used in over thirty ballets originating with New York City Ballet from 1948 through 1987, including Danses Concertantes, Orpheus, The Cage, Agon, Monumentum pro Gesualdo, Rubies, Symphony in Three Movements, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Concerto for Two Solo Pianos, Suite from L’Histoire du Soldat, Concertino, and Jeu de Cartes.