Stars and Stripes (ballet)

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Stars and Stripes is a ballet in five "campaigns," choreographed by George Balanchine in 1958 to original music by John Philip Sousa, arranged by Hershy Kay. It lasts an average of 28 minutes.

The ballet, which evokes Fourth of July parades, is one of several of Balanchine salutes to his adoptive country. It is a full-company ballet complete with baton twirling, military marching and a regiment of rifle-bearing ballerinas. The fourth campaign is a challenging pas de deux with a coda set to the Liberty Bell and El Capitan marches which shows the virtuosity of the dancers.

The original cast included four New York City Ballet stars of their time[1]: Canadian ballerina Melissa Hayden and Americans Jacques d'Amboise, Allegra Kent and Diana Adams. It premiered January 17, 1958 at City Center of Music and Drama, New York, with costumes by Barbara Karinska and lighting by Mark Stanley. When Balanchine was asked for his reason to choreograph a ballet to Sousa's marches, he famously replied: "Because I like his music.[2] Melissa Hayden later coached Gillian Murphy for this ballet while Murphy was still a soloist with the American Ballet Theatre.[3]

This ballet was performed for many memorable occasions, including Nelson Rockefeller's inauguration as governor of New York, tributes to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and the opening ceremonies for the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. The ballet is dedicated to the memory of Fiorello H. LaGuardia, mayor of New York City and founder of the City Center of Music and Drama, City Ballet's first home.[4] It is still traditionally performed by NYCB on or around the 4th of July during their residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY.



NYCB revivals[edit]

2009 Saratoga Springs[edit]

2010 Fall[edit]

first cast[edit]
second cast[edit]
third cast[edit]
fourth cast[edit]

2011 Winter[edit]


  1. ^ "New York City Ballet - Stars and Stripes". New York City Ballet. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  2. ^ "Stars and Stripes". Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  3. ^ "Balanchine Foundation Video Archives: MELISSA HAYDEN coaching the pas de deux from Stars & Stripes". Retrieved 2018-04-04 – via Alexander Street.
  4. ^ Repertory Index - New York City Ballet
  5. ^ originally 3rd Regiment
  6. ^ originally 2nd Regiment
  7. ^ first time in rôle
  8. ^ a b c Gwyneth Muller replaced Savannah Lowery.
  9. ^ a b Ashley Bouder and Adam Hendrickson replaced Sara Mearns and Daniel Ulbricht.



External links[edit]