Attended by the male dancer, the ballerinas move together in a whirl of perpetual motion.  The 1967 rendering of Valse-Fantaisie was originally presented as the second section of Glinkiana, which was choreographed to four different compositions by Glinka. The music, roughly contemporaneous with the waltzes of Frederic Chopin, is fast and light, although it was popularly called “the Melancholy Waltz.”

Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857), Russia’s first national composer, has been called the Mozart of his country. He is best known for his operas A Life for the Tsar and Ruslan and Ludmila. As a student at the Maryinsky Theatre, Balanchine danced in the latter; in 1969 he directed and choreographed the opera for the State Opera of Hamburg.

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 - Valse-Fantaisie
Choreography:  George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Music:  Valse Fantaisie in B minor
Composer:  Glinka, Mikhail
Premiere:  1967
Average Length:  9 minutes
No. Dancers:  6