Echoing its music, this ballet is a lament choreographed for a solo female dancer who carries with her a length of chiffon throughout the performance.

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) was born in the French Basque town of Ciboure. His family moved to Paris and encouraged him to take piano lessons. At fourteen he was admitted to the Paris Conservatory, where he studied with Fauré, who became his principal teacher of composition. His ballet scores include Pavane pour une Infante Défunte, Jeux d’Eau, Boléro, Daphnis and Chloe, Ma Mère L’Oye, and a ballet-opera, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges.

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 © Paul Kolnik
The George Balanchine Trust - Pavane
Choreography:  George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Music:  Pavane pour une Infante Défunte for piano
Composer:  Ravel, Maurice
Premiere:  1975
Average Length:  7 minutes
No. Dancers:  1