JUDGMENT OF PARIS


Choreography by Antony Tudor
Staged by Sallie Wilson and Diana Byer
Music by Kurt Weill (The Threepenny Opera)
Libretto and costumes by Hugh Laing
Costume adaptation by Sylvia Taalsohn Nolan
Lighting by Feder

TIMING: 14:00


This intimate ballet may be freely described as a late nineteenth century adaptation of the classical legend in which Paris chooses Venus as the most beautiful of the three goddesses; Juno, Venus, and Minerva. A golden apple is her prize.

The ballet’s satiric little tale has to do with a Waiter, a Customer and some Ladies. The Customer, served by the Waiter, is also served, but in a different fashion, by the Ladies; for, as he toasts the fair ones, with the assistance of the waiter, they rifle his pockets of his wallet and his watch and fob.

The music is that of Kurt Weill, a contemporary expatriate German composer born in 1900, who had a marked influence on the younger contemporary composers. Weill experimented with jazz and popular music, but is probably best known for his Dreigroschenoper (a modern adaptation of The Beggar’s Opera), written in distinctive modern idiom; the work from which the score derives.

Last performed by American Ballet Theatre in 1958, Judgment of Paris received its Ballet Theatre Company Premiere at The Center Theatre, New York on January 23, 1940, danced by Viola Essen (Juno), Agnes de Mille (Venus), Lucia Chase (Minerva), Antony Tudor (Client) and Hugh Laing (Waiter). Judgment of Paris received its World Premiere by the London Ballet at the Westminster Theatre, London in June 1938, danced by Therese Langfield, Agnes de Mille, Charlotte Bidmead, Antony Tudor and Hugh Laing.

Judgment of Paris received its revival premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on May 19, 2008, danced by Kathleen Moore as Juno, Martine van Hamel as Venus, Bonnie Mathis as Minerva, Kevin McKenzie as the Client and Victor Barbee as the Waiter.

World Premiere: London Ballet, Westminster Theatre, London, 6/38*
Costumes by Hugh Laing
Original Cast: Therese Langfield, Agnes de Mille, Charlotte Bidmead, Antony Tudor, Hugh Laing
*given as a curtain-raiser to Gogol's Marriage
ABT Premiere: The Center Theatre, New York, 1/23/40
Cast: Viola Essen (Juno), Agnes de Mille (Venus), Lucia Chase (Minerva), Antony Tudor (Client), Hugh Laing (Waiter)

 




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