George Balanchine choreographed Apollo for the Ballets Russes in 1928 when he was just 24 years old. Set to Stravinsky’s score and one of the few story ballets Balanchine created, Apollo was a milestone ballet, and the title role is a challenging one for male dancers. During ABT’s Fall season, Principal Dancer Herman Cornejo and Soloists Joo Won Ahn and Calvin Royal III will take the stage as Apollo for the first time in New York.
Photo: Erin Baiano, courtesy Vail dance Festival.
Now at the pinnacle of his career, Principal Dancer Herman Cornejo will make his ABT debut as Apollo on October 26 in an evening celebrating his accomplishments in 20 years at with the Company.
Susan Jaffe, Jose Manuel Carreño,
Julie Kent, Paloma Herrera.
Photo: Paul Kolnik.
A previous generation of ABT stars strikes the ballet’s iconic pose: Jose Manuel Carreño as Apollo, with Susan Jaffe, Paloma Herrera and Julie Kent.
Julie Kent, Jose Manuel Carreño,
Stella Abrera, Irina Dvorovenko.
Photo: Gene Schiavone.
Here, the young god lifts a lute in sacrifice to Zeus, as the muses Terpsichore (dance), Polyhymnia (mime) and Calliope (poetry) circle around him.
Christine Spizzo, Cheryl Yeager,
Susan Jaffe, Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Photo: Richard N. Greenhouse.
Apollo is the oldest ballet of Balanchine repertory still performed. Though it wasn’t seen onstage for many seasons in the middle of his career, the choreographer revived his early masterpiece for Mikhail Baryshnikov in 1979.
George Balanchine’s Apollo. © The George Balanchine Trust.