Walpurgisnacht Ballet

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Walpurgisnacht Ballet is a ballet made by New York City Ballet's co-founder and founding choreographer George Balanchine for a 1975 production of Gounod's 1859 Faust at the Théâtre National de l'Opéra including the additional ballet music from 1869. The New York City Ballet premiere was its first presentation as an independent work and took place on Thursday, May 15, 1980, at the New York State Theater, Lincoln Center. Balanchine had previously made dances for a production of Faust at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, danced by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, as well as in 1935 for the Metropolitan Opera and 1945 for the Opera Naçional, Mexico City.

Walpurgisnacht is found at the beginning of the last act if Faust. Mephistopheles shows Faust the folk celebration before May Day when the souls of the dead are released briefly to wander as they will. The ballet does not directly depict Walpurgisnacht but builds on a sense of joyful revelry.

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