February 19-23, 2020

Season Ticket Packages start at $113

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From a lively and jazzy Broadway production to divine elegance, witness bellwether ballets by 20th century dance titans George Balanchine and Sir Frederick Ashton. BALANCHINE + ASHTON provides a mixed repertoire of styles and opposites that are still relevant to today’s audiences. Ashton’s Birthday Offering and Balanchine’s Slaughter on Tenth Avenue are both company premieres. Balanchine’s exuberant and athletic Allegro Brillante and the somber Méditation for Thaïs, one of Ashton’s more sublime and legato creations, round out the program.

Featuring The Washington Ballet Orchestra.


George Balanchine and Sir Frederick Ashton are two of the most notable choreographers that embodied our art form in the 20th century. The fact that their works are still relevant, engaging, and entertaining to audiences today is a reflection of their true genius. Balanchine’s two pieces in this program show his prowess as a full spectrum choreographer. Ashton’s Birthday Offering is a powerful opportunity for seven soloist women to showcase their technical virtusoity. In BALANCHINE + ASHTON, we are honored to absorb and display this artistic knowledge, weaving an important ballet lineage.

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Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

Choreography by George Balanchine
© The George Balanchine Trust
Music by Richard Rogers

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue tells the story of a strip joint and the customer who falls for the Mob Boss’ girlfriend. Originally choreographed in 1936 as the ballet sequence in the Broadway musical On Your Toes, the adapted version became part of the repertoire of the New York City Ballet in 1968.

Allegro Brillante

Choreography by George Balanchine
© The George Balanchine Trust
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Allegro Brillante debuted in New York, March 1, 1956. Vigorous, precise, structured, and swift –  this 16 minute ballet for ten dancers is a sparkling example of Balanchine’s famous balletic style.

Birthday Offering

Choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton
Music by Alexander Glazunov, arranged by Robert Irving

Birthday Offering premiered in London on May 5, 1956 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Royal Ballet. Seven couples perform a variety of variations, solos, and a robust mazurka for the male dancers climaxing in an elegant finale danced by the entire ensemble.

Méditation from Thaïs

Choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton
Music by Jules Massenet

The hauntingly romantic music for this delicate pas de deux was originally composed as the entr’acte for the opera Thaïs. The two dancers are connected to the movement through the music that mirrors the choreography. This ballet premiered on March 21, 1971 in London.

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Eisenhower Theater – Kennedy Center

2700 F St NW Washington, DC 20566

Eisenhower Theater – Kennedy Center

2700 F St NW, Washington, DC 20566, USA

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