The story of how I chose the score for Kaleidoscope, Camille Saint-Saëns' Fifth Piano Concerto, Opus 103 goes back to the night that I premiered my first work, Spring Scape, for the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company on December 4th, 2003. The evening had been a success and I could not think of going to sleep. As my sister was staying with me, I had to try and stay quiet. I decided to listen to the concerto in preparation to hear it in concert with the New York Philharmonic in the morning. I mistakenly thought that the lush Romantic score would allow my energy to dissipate; instead, my excitement grew and I listened to the entire work three times. I knew immediately that this rich work would make a great ballet.
Created for American Ballet Theatre
Six weeks later, I met with Kevin McKenzie, Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre. He offered me the opportunity to create a new work for the main company. When he asked if I had any ideas, I suggested the Saint-Saëns score. ABT boasts a strong
company which includes the best classical ballet dancers from every part of the globe. I wanted to make a ballet that could challenge their technique, soften the lines of their upper bodies and create contrasting roles to present the ballerinas. In Kaleidoscope, I had the opportunity of using a large Corps de Ballet to off set the principal dancers. This raises questions on several levels that relate to individual versus group dynamics. I see the Corps de Ballet as the key to understanding the relationships between the soloists. As in contemporary collective thought, I have used the Corps de ballet to comment on and define the choices of the two ballerinas.
Concerto pour piano no.5 en fa majeur, opus 103 de Camille Saint-Saëns
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