La Chatte

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Ballet in one act with choreography by Balanchine, libretto by Sobeka (alias Kochno), music by Sauguet, and designs by Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner. Premiered 30 Apr. 1927 by the Ballets Russes de Diaghilev in Monte Carlo, with Spessivtseva and Lifar. Balanchine based his ballet on Aesop's fable, in which a young man begs Aphrodite to change a cat into a young girl. The goddess grants him his wish, only for him to discover that the girl cannot reciprocate his love, whereupon the young man dies. The ballet's original constructivist decor featured transparent materials that dazzlingly reflected. Although the work had been intended as a showcase for Spessivtseva, it made a star of Lifar. Ronald Hynd choreographed a version using the same music for London Festival Ballet in 1978. Hodson and Archer re-constructed Balanchine's version for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in 1991.

Subjects: Dance.

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