Les Présages

Overview

Book and Choreography - Leonide Massine

 

Leonide Massine created the first symphonic ballet, set to Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, an allegorical depiction of everyman's triumph over face. The Joffrey Ballet, with its extensive repertoire of ballets by Massine, was the first American company to recreate Massine's historic Les Présages. This ballet, a precursor of contemporary abstract ballets, was Massine's first symphonic work. Although it is plotless, it has an underlying theme of man's struggle with his destiny and even seems to warn of the world war the was looming. The ballet clearly shows another aspect of Massine's genius, and vividly demonstrates his historical importance and his influence on such choreographers as Sir Frederick Ashton and George Balanchine.

Les Présages had its world premiere in April 1933 by Colonel de Basil's Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo at the Theatre de Monte Carlo. It was brought to America in the closing days of 1933 and was seen on various tours of the company. In 1956, it was revived for the Municipal Ballet Company of Rio de Janeiro by the company's Artistic Director, Tatiana Leskova, who had been a member of the Original Ballet Russe. Leskova danced in all four movements of Les Présages lead roles of "Passion" and "Frivolity." In 1988, after The Joffrey's reconstruction of Cotillon, Gerald Arpino began making plans for the recreation of Les Présages. However, he gave permission to Rudolf Nureyev for the Paris Opera Ballet to produce the ballet first, in 1989. Mme. Leskova stages the French production, and the first Joffrey production. Revivals are overseen by Cameron Basden who is now the only person in the world to hold the rights from the Massine foundation to stage Les Présages.

 

Music - Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky (Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Opus 64)

Lighting Design - Kevin Dreyer after the original Craig Miller

Costume Design - Andre Masson

 

JOFFREY PREMIERE: July 8, 1992, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California

WORLD PREMIERE: April 13, 1933, Col. de Basil's Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, The Theatre de Monte Carlo, Monaco

Performed in: 2006 (Christopher Newport University's Ferguson Center for the Arts), 2007 (Destiny's Dances), 2007 Touring ( Orpheum Theater - Omaha, Music Hall - Kansas City, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion)

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Book and Choreography - Leonide Massine

 

Leonide Massine created the first symphonic ballet, set to Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, an allegorical depiction of everyman's triumph over face. The Joffrey Ballet, with its extensive repertoire of ballets by Massine, was the first American company to recreate Massine's historic Les Présages. This ballet, a precursor of contemporary abstract ballets, was Massine's first symphonic work. Although it is plotless, it has an underlying theme of man's struggle with his destiny and even seems to warn of the world war the was looming. The ballet clearly shows another aspect of Massine's genius, and vividly demonstrates his historical importance and his influence on such choreographers as Sir Frederick Ashton and George Balanchine.

Les Présages had its world premiere in April 1933 by Colonel de Basil's Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo at the Theatre de Monte Carlo. It was brought to America in the closing days of 1933 and was seen on various tours of the company. In 1956, it was revived for the Municipal Ballet Company of Rio de Janeiro by the company's Artistic Director, Tatiana Leskova, who had been a member of the Original Ballet Russe. Leskova danced in all four movements of Les Présages lead roles of "Passion" and "Frivolity." In 1988, after The Joffrey's reconstruction of Cotillon, Gerald Arpino began making plans for the recreation of Les Présages. However, he gave permission to Rudolf Nureyev for the Paris Opera Ballet to produce the ballet first, in 1989. Mme. Leskova stages the French production, and the first Joffrey production. Revivals are overseen by Cameron Basden who is now the only person in the world to hold the rights from the Massine foundation to stage Les Présages.

 

Music - Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky (Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Opus 64)

Lighting Design - Kevin Dreyer after the original Craig Miller

Costume Design - Andre Masson

 

JOFFREY PREMIERE: July 8, 1992, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California

WORLD PREMIERE: April 13, 1933, Col. de Basil's Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, The Theatre de Monte Carlo, Monaco

Performed in: 2006 (Christopher Newport University's Ferguson Center for the Arts), 2007 (Destiny's Dances), 2007 Touring ( Orpheum Theater - Omaha, Music Hall - Kansas City, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion)