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NYCB Vol. 3 No. 32 - Stravinsky & Balanchine

Balanchine on Stravinsky’s music: “What holds me, now and always, is the vitality in the substance of each measure. Each measure has its own complete, almost personal life, it is a living unit. There are no blind spots anywhere. A pause, an interruption, is never empty space between indicated sounds. It is not just nothing. It acts as a carrying agent from the last sound to the next one. Life goes on within each silence.”

(top) George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky, 1957.

(bottom) George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky, 1965.

Photos by Martha Swope


“To Igor Fedorovitch, friend of ours, Stravinsky.”

On the final night of the 1972 Stravinsky Festival, Balanchine and Kirstein came before the great gold curtain and toasted Stravinsky with vodka. That evening every person in the theater was given a free glass of vodka “to toast the immortal composer”. (A friend of mine was ushering during the festival and she confirmed that even ushers were included in this and received the celebratory vodka.)


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