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NYCB Vol. 3 No. 28 - Duo Concertant

Duo Concertant was choreographed by Balanchine in 1972 for the Stravinsky Festival and it contains 5 movements. “To the first movement, the dancers just listen. In the second, they try out some steps. He invites her to initiate moves to the third, follows her lead, tries her ideas, modifies them, checks her once, and, after her gentle insistence, checks her again with courteous determination to impose his own pattern. In the final movement, it is as if some new spell has been cast. The light fades. The dancers disappear, are found again. Some phrases can take visual shape, others are left to the musicians alone. It is a small ballet that is mysterious, satisfying and perfect.” — Porter

(top left) Peter Martins and Kay Mazzo. Swope, 1973.

(top right) Peter Martins and Kay Mazzo. Swope, 1974.

(bottom left) Peter Martins and Suzanne Farrell. Swope, 1982.

(bottom right) Peter Martins and Kay Mazzo. Gordon Boelzner on piano, Lamar Alsop on violin.

Swope, 1974.


In the final movement of Duo Concertant :

“He kisses the back of her hand with hushed passion, and sinks to the floor like a supplicant before a goddess. […] It declares that to Balanchine the female dancer is an image of love, a Muse-ballerina who inspires but is unreachable. The worshipper is the male, whose fate is to be indelibly inspired, possessed but not possessing. It is the story of Balanchine’s art.”—Nancy Goldner in Stravinsky Festival (affiliate link)

Peter Martins and Kay Mazzo. Film by Hugo Niebeling, Continental Film R.M. Productions, 1975.

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