By Robin Rinaldi
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Extra info for Ballet, 2nd Edition (World of Dance)
In 1934, Balanchine founded the School of American Ballet and soon after created his first American work for its students—Serenade, a ballet without a story or a set, danced in simple costumes by a female ensemble to a Tchaikovsky string composition. The structure of Serenade foreshadowed all of the elements that would come to mark Balanchine’s work: his favoritism of the female dancer, his disregard for acting or too much plot, his sharp simplicity, and, most of all, his musicality. It remains one of the most widely performed and popular of his works.
In the end, of course, Simone gives her approval, and Lise and Colas are allowed to marry; this propels the whole happy village into a finale in which the lovers are celebrated. La Fille is the ballet version of an entertaining sitcom or a “chick flick”—light, romantic, and entertaining. 36 BALLET which would overthrow France’s royal house and ultimately establish a democracy in its place; ballet also began to illustrate this shift. Instead of taking the ancient gods or the splendor of the aristocracy for its subject matter, ballet began to focus more on common themes, ordinary characters, and natural settings.
Thus, many consider its combination of serene elegance and breathtaking virtuosity the most complete and well-developed technique in all of ballet. Near the close of the nineteenth century, young Russian dancers were begging to be trained by Cecchetti. Through him one can trace not only the best dancers of the early 1900s—Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, and Michael Fokine—but also many students who went on to develop companies or teaching systems of their own, such as Agrippina Vaganova in Russia and Ninette de Valois in England.
Ballet, 2nd Edition (World of Dance) by Robin Rinaldi