George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Pavane pour une Infante Défunte for piano
Photo © Paul Kolnik
Echoing its music, this ballet is a lament choreographed for a solo female dancer who carries with her a length of chiffon throughout the performance.
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) was born in the French Basque town of Ciboure. His family moved to Paris and encouraged him to take piano lessons. At fourteen he was admitted to the Paris Conservatory, where he studied with Fauré, who became his principal teacher of composition. His ballet scores include Pavane pour une Infante Défunte, Jeux d’Eau, Boléro, Daphnis and Chloe, Ma Mère L’Oye, and a ballet-opera, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges.