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Theme and Variations

Repertory Archive

Theme and Variations

Choreography by George Balanchine
Music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky (“Theme and Variations” from Suite No. 3 for Orchestra)
Scenery and Costumes by Zack Brown
Lighting by Brad Fields


Previous Credits
Original Production (1947)
Scenery and Costumes by Woodman Thompson
Lighting by Jean Rosenthal

1978 Production
Costumes by Desmond Heeley
Lighting by Jennifer Tipton

1983 Production
Costumes by Santo Loquasto
Lighting by Thomas Skelton

1986 Production
Costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge
Lighting by David K.H. Elliott

2003 Production (with 1986 Aldredge/Elliott designs)
Staged by Kirk Peterson

World Premiere

November 26, 1947
City Center 55 Street Theater
New York, New York

Alicia Alonso
Igor Youskevitch
Melissa Hayden, Paula Lloyd, Cynthia Riseley, Anna Cheselka, Fernando Alonso, Fernand Nault, Zachary Solov, Eric Braun

ABT Premiere

(Heeley/Tipton designs)

April 17, 1978
Metropolitan Opera House
New York, New York

Gelsey Kirkland
Mikhail Baryshnikov
Rebecca Wright
Kristine Elliott
Hilda Morales
Yoko Ichino

ABT Premiere

(Loquasto/Skelton designs)

January 22, 1983
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Washington, D.C.

Cynthia Harvey
Ross Stretton

ABT Premiere

(Aldredge/Elliott designs)

May 5, 1986
Metropolitan Opera House
New York, New York

Cynthia Harvey
Kevin McKenzie

ABT Premiere

(Peterson staging)

October 22, 2003
City Center
New York, New York

Paloma Herrera
Marcelo Gomes

ABT Premiere

(Brown/Fields designs)

October 30, 2013
David H. Koch Theater
New York, New York

Gillian Murphy
James Whiteside


This plotless ballet with its glorious choreography and glittering costumes is a vision of the Imperial Ballet in its heyday at the Maryinksy Theatre.  It has been said that Theme and Variations was the “niece” of The Sleeping Beauty – bringing 19th century ballet into the 20th.