New York City, NY, United States
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Two major ballets performed to music by Bach bookend this program, along with a spiky Balanchine dance set to a work by the 20th-century composer Hindemith. Concerto Barocco, first presented in 1941, was among the three works danced at the first performance ever given by the newly established New York City Ballet in 1948. Its formal beauty and responsiveness to the score has made it an undisputed classic of the international repertory. Robbins dedicated three of his last four ballets to the music of Bach. His very last, Brandenburg, from 1997, is a series of delicate yet complex pas de deux set to four of the famous concertos of the title. Kammermusik No. 2 finds Balanchine meeting the challenges of the Hindemith score with lively choreography for two principal couples and, unusually, an all-male corps de ballet.