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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Élégie is a ballet made by New York City Ballet co-founder and balletmaster George Balanchine to Igor Stravinsky's Élégie for solo viola (1944). The first of three ballets made with this title was a pas de deux which had its premiere November 5, 1945, on a program of the National Orchestral Society entitled Adventure in Ballet, together with Circus Polka, danced by School of American Ballet students with Todd Bolender as guest artist, and Symphonie Concertante.

The Ballet Society premiere was April 28, 1948, at City Center of Music and Drama; the violist was Emanuel Vardi. The evening included the premiere of Orpheus, which lead directly to the founding of New York City Ballet as a resident company at City Center. Stravinsky referred to Élégie as a kind of preview for the Orpheus pas de deux, the music reflecting through the interlaced bodies of the dancers fixed in a central spot on stage.

The second version was a solo created for Lukas Foss' A Festival of Stravinsky: His Heritage and His Legacy, which also included the premiere of Balanchine's Ragtime (II). Its premiere took place on July 15, 1966, in Philharmonic Hall, New York; the violist was Jesse Levine; the first City Ballet performance was July 28 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, again with Jesse Levine.

Balanchine created the third version for City Ballets's avinsky Centennial Celebration‎|Stravinsky Centennial Celebration‎; its premiere was June 13, 1982, at the New York State Theater, Lincoln Center; the on-stage violist was Warren Laffredo; at the opening and closing of the work the dancer kneels in a pool of light on an otherwise dark stage.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Élégie" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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