OFFENBACH IN THE UNDERWORLD
or Le Bar du Can Can


Music by Jacques Offenbach (Gaite Parisienne)
Musical score arranged by David Simon
Choreography by Antony Tudor
Scenery and costumes by Rene Bouche

2002 ABT Revival:
Choreography by Antony Tudor
Staged and Reconstructed by Donald Mahler
Assisted by Leslie Rotman
Music by Jacques Offenbach
Arranged and Orchestrated by George Crum
Scenery and costumes by Kay Ambrose
Lighting by Brad Fields

Timing: 43:00



World Premiere: (first version) Philadelphia Ballet Guild, Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 5/8/54. Original Cast: Sylvia Kim, Viola Essen, Elaine Wilson, Michael Lland, Michael Lopuszanski, Maurice Phillips

World Premiere:
(second version) music orchestrated by George Crum, decor by Kay Ambrose, National Ballet of Canada, Palace Theatre, St. Catherine's, Ont., Canada, 1/17/55
Cast: Lois Smith, David Adams, E. Kraul

ABT Premiere: Metropolitan Opera House, New York, 4/18/56. Cast: Ruth Ann Koesun (Debutante), Nora Kaye (Operetta Star), Lupe Serrano (Queen of the Carriage Trade), Hugh Laing (Painter), John Kriza (His Imperial Excellency), Scott Douglas (Young Officer)

The action of the ballet takes place in a fashionable café in the eighteen-seventies, where many people come to relax and enjoy themselves at the hour when most people go to sleep. As it has an international reputation, visiting celebrities come to see, to be seen, and to be amused. Among these are a famous operetta star and one of her admirers, a grand duke. A debutante of good family, accompanied by three of her friends, arrives veiled in order not to be recognized in a place, which for families, is “out of bounds.” There is a painter who, like all young painters, is penniless and tries to earn a meager living by drawing sketches of the café’s patrons. There is no story to the ballet, for the flirtations that take place at such a place, at such a time, are most often half-forgotten by the next morning. There is neither a sad ending nor a happy ending, but only a closing time.

Offenbach in the Underworld received two World Premieres. The first version was given by the Philadelphia Ballet Guild at Convention Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 8, 1954, danced by Sylvia Kim, Viola Essen, Elaine Wilson, Michael Lland, Michael Lopuszanski and Maurice Philips. The second version, with music orchestrated by George Crum and décor by Kay Ambrose, was given by The National Ballet of Canada at the Palace Theatre in St. Catherine’s, Ontario, Canada on January 17, 1955, danced by Lois Smith, David Adams and E. Kraul.

Offenbach in the Underworld received its American Ballet Theatre premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on April 18, 1956, danced by Ruth Ann Koesun (Debutante), Nora Kaye (Operetta Star), Lupe Serrano (Queen of the Carriage Trade), Hugh Laing (Painter), John Kriza (His Imperial Excellency) and Scott Douglas (Young Officer).
Offenbach in the Underworld, staged by Donald Mahler and with set and costumes by Kay Ambrose, received its American Ballet Theatre Revival Premiere on October 24, 2002, danced by Nina Ananiashvili (The Operetta Star), Ethan Brown (A Painter), Stella Abrera (Queen of the Carriage Trade), Marcelo Gomes (His Imperial Excellency), Xiomara Reyes (A Debutante), Carlos Lopez (The Young Officer), Olga Dvorovenko (Madame la Patronne),



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