Great Performances: The New York City Ballet in Madrid

Fri. Oct. 27 at 8 p.m.

Captured in peak performance at Madrid’s Teatro Real, New York City Ballet performs two masterpieces choreographed by NYCB co-founder and original Artistic Director George Balanchine, “Serenade” and “Square Dance” as well as a piece by current resident choreographer Justin Peck.

About the Episode

Recorded at Madrid’s Teatro Real in March 2023, Great Performances: New York City Ballet in Madrid highlights works by legendary choreographers George Balanchine and current New York City Ballet resident choreographer Justin Peck. 1934’s “Serenade” choreographed by Balanchine was the first full-length ballet he created in the United States and remains one of New York City Ballet’s signature works.

Conceived as an observed ballet lesson, the work begins with a simple tendu and is set music by Tchaikovsky. In his later work, “Square Dance,” Balanchine blended the traditions of American folk dance with classical ballet by featuring music by Vivaldi and Correlli. Balanchine’s famed works are followed by a 2017 piece choreographed by Justin Peck, “The Times Are Racing.” Performed in sneakers and street clothes, the dance is set to an electronic score by two-time Grammy-nominated composer Dan Deacon. The choreography takes its inspiration from a variety of dance styles, including references to the tap dancing of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.

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