Repertoire / Musagete

A ballet by Boris Eifman
Music: Johann Sebastian Bach
Sets and costumes: Vyacheslav Okunev

Premiere: October 5, 2004

The world premiere of Boris Eifman’s Musagete (Dedication to Balanchine) took place on June 18, 2004, at the New York State Theater (home to the New York City Ballet; later renamed the David H. Koch Theater) as part of the celebration of George Balanchine’s 100th anniversary.

Musagete is a commemoration of great choreographer George Balanchine. This ballet is my admiration for and the homage of the Russian ballet community paid to the man who so brilliantly developed and refined the traditions of Russian ballet theatre and made it possible for dance to evolve from its 19th century forms to what we can see now, in the 21st century.

In Musagete I did not seek to stage my hero’s biography in dance; on the other hand, what is in it is the personality of George Balanchine whose whole life was spent in the dance class or on the stage where everything is under the control of the art which in its turn is embreathed by the artist's destiny. I delved deep into the world of Balanchine’s ballets and was electrified by his individuality not having been able to break free from this fascination.

J. S. Bach’s music is the bedrock of the ballet. Emotions fettered by ideal forms, polyphonic thinking, a tie between the ethereal and the worldly – this is what reconciles the art of Bach and Balanchine.”

Boris Eifman