"I try to think about choreographing the way an architect builds a structure."
- Justin Peck
The tribute to Arnold Schönberg will close with two additions to the repertoire: George Balanchine’s Brahms-Schönberg Quartet and a new work commissioned by the Paris Opera from the rising star of neo-classical dance from across the Atlantic: the young American choreographer Justin Peck.
George Balanchine believed that chamber music was generally not that well-suited to dance. However, Arnold Schönberg's orchestration of Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quartet N° 1, op. 25 inspired him to create his first abstract ballet for the New York State Theater in 1966. This symphonic version enabled the choreographer to express his musicality and the complete palette of his creative genius. Following the four movements of the score, George Balanchine proposes four different styles and atmospheres with and elegant Allegro, a romantic Intermezzo and a lyrical Andante. The Gypsy theme of the final movement offers a dazzling final display of his talent.
Even though intended for something entirely different, Francis Poulenc’s Concerto in D Minor for two pianos and orchestra, composed in 1932, also seems to have been written for dance. Justin Peck proves the point.