George Balanchine loved Mozart’s 15th divertimento so deeply – he regarded it as the greatest divertimento ever composed – that he created two different ballets to it. The second, from 1956, remains in the repertories of ballet companies around the world – beloved for its elegance, its charming relaxed classicism, its melodic fluency. And for its fivevirtuoso ballerina roles.
“This is a ballet of the aristocracy,” wrote dance historian Nancy Reynolds. “Cut crystal rather than diamond glitter characterizes the ballet’s delicate sparkle. It is one of Balanchine’s purest dance creations – a string of dances, solos, ensembles, pas de deux – with muted emotional overtones.” Here is style without affectation, feeling without self-dramatization. And from the start, regarded as a Balanchine masterpiece.