Stars and Stripes is a ballet choreographed by George Balanchine in 1958, using original music by John Philip Sousa and performed in 5 acts (campaigns). It lasts an average of 28 minutes. The original music by Sousa was adapted and orchestrated by Hershy Kay, the composer and preeminent orchestrator.
The ballet, which evokes Fourth of July parades, is one of several of Balanchine salutes to his adoptive country. It is a full-company ballet complete with baton twirling, military marching and a regiment of rifle-bearing ballerinas. The fourth campaign is a challenging pas de deux with a coda set to the "Liberty Bell" and "El Capitan" marches which shows the virtuosity of the dancers.
The original cast included four New York City Ballet stars of their time: Canadian ballerina Melissa Hayden and Americans Jacques d'Amboise, Allegra Kent and Diana Adams. It premiered January 17, 1958 at City Center of Music and Drama, New York, with costumes by Barbara Karinska and lighting by Mark Stanley. When Balanchine was asked for his reason to choreograph a ballet to Sousa's marches, he famously replied: "Because I like his music."
This ballet was performed for many memorable occasions, including Nelson Rockefeller's inauguration as governor of New York, tributes to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and the opening ceremonies for the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. The ballet is dedicated to the memory of Fiorello H. LaGuardia, mayor of New York City and founder of the City Center of Music and Drama, City Ballet's first home. It is still traditionally performed by NYCB on or around the 4th of July during their residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY.
- Stars and Stripes: First Campaign, 1st Regiment ('Corcoran Cadets')
- Stars and Stripes: Second Campaign, 2nd Regiment ('Rifle Regiment')
- Stars and Stripes: Third Campaign, 3rd Regiment ('Thunder and Gladiator')
- Stars and Stripes: Fourth Campaign ('Liberty Bell' and 'El Capitan')
- Stars and Stripes: Fifth Campaign, All Regiments ('Stars and Stripes')
- Variation I
- Variation II
- Coda: Allegro molto
- Finale: The Stars and Stripes Forever
NYCB revivals 
2009 Saratoga Springs 
2010 Fall 
2011 Winter 
External links