Allegro Brillante is characterized by what Maria Tallchief, the ballerina on whom the bravura leading role was created, calls “an expansive Russian romanticism.” The music’s vigorous pace makes the steps appear even more difficult, but the ballet relies on strong dancing, precise timing, and breadth of gesture. Balanchine said: “It contains everything I know about the classical ballet in 13 minutes.”
Tchaikovsky’s Third Piano Concerto was originally written as a symphony. But as it was nearing completion, the composer, dissatisfied with it, converted the first movement into a concert piece for piano and orchestra. Later on, he altered the andante and finale of the symphony in similar fashion.
Allegro Brillante received its American Ballet Theatre Company Premiere at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D. C. on February 17, 2009, danced by Gillian Murphy and Cory Stearns.
The performances of Allegro Brillante, a Balanchine Ballet, are presented by arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust and have been produced in accordance with Balanchine Style® and Balanchine Technique® Service standards established and provided by the Trust.