Divertimento from “Le Baiser De La Fée”
George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Le Baiser De La Fée
Photo © Paul Kolnik
Stravinsky used the story of The Ice Maiden, with its theme of the muse’s fatal kiss, to compose an homage to Tschaikovsky. The Fairy implants her magic kiss on a child at birth. When the child has grown to young manhood and good fortune, the Fairy reappears at his wedding fête; repeating the kiss, she leads the young man to abandon his bride and dwell with her forever.
The score was first choreographed by Bronislava Nijinska in1928 for Ballets Ida Rubenstein. Balanchine created a new ballet in 1937. In 1972, he choreographed Divertimento from ‘Le Baiser De La Fée’ for the New York City Ballet Stravinsky Festival, using Divertimento, a concert suite Stravinsky based on the ballet, with additions from the full ballet score.
Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), born in Russia, is acknowledged as one of the great composers of the twentieth century. His work encompassed styles as diverse as Romanticism, Neoclassicism, and Serialism. His ballets for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes included The Firebird, Petrushka, The Rite of Spring, and Apollo. His music has been used in over 30 ballets originating with New York City Ballet from 1948 through 1987, including Danses Concertantes, Orpheus, The Cage, Agon, Monumentum pro Gesualdo, Rubies, Symphony in Three Movements, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Concerto for Two Solo Pianos, Suite from L’Histoire du Soldat, Concertino, and Jeu de Cartes.