Robert Schumann's Davidsbündlertänze
Robert Schumann’s “Davidsbündlertänze” is one of the last major works made by New York City Ballet's founding choreographer and balletmaster-in-chief George Balanchine. It is set to Robert Schumann's Davidsbündlertänze (Dances of the League of David), Op. 6 (1837). The idea for setting this piano work very likely came from a work created by Robert Joffrey for his own Joffrey Ballet Company, the premier of which took place at the City Center Theater in the late 1970s. Joffrey, in turn, received his inspiration from Jonathan Watts, a protege of Joffrey's and director of the Joffrey apprentice company, who, at the suggestion of pianist Neil Stannard (yours truly), created a ballet titled "Evening Dialogues" to this same score. This initial version of the Schumann cycle was featured on tour with the Joffrey second company in the mid 1970a.
The premiere took place on June 19, 1980, at the New York State Theater, Lincoln Center. A series of dances for four couples, the ballet draws on the life of Schumann, in particular his reunion with Clara Wieck after a 16-month estrangement in the year of its composition.
- An imaginary society of artists created by Schumann the members of which represent various aspects of his personality but united in the common aim of fight the Philistines, those who oppose art or innovation in the arts. During his adult life Schumann headed a circle that included much of the Germany musical elite, including Felix Mendelssohn and Johannes Brahms.
- first time in rôle