Classic Beauty will consist of 2 parts. The third act of The Sleeping Beauty and Serenade
The Sleeping Beauty was a collaborative project between Marius Petipa and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1889.
Act 3 of the work places focus on the individual characters of the various court dances. The third act has virtually no plot, as the main story has already concluded. Preparations for the wedding are made. Many Brothers Grimm fairytale characters, such as Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots and the White Cat, are also among the guests. A golden chain of dances is held, culminating in a celebration dance. The Prince and the Princess are wed, and the Lilac Fairy blesses their marriage.
The ballet's premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg on January 15, 1890 received more favorable accolades than Swan Lake from the press but Tchaikovsky never had the luxury of being able to witness his work become an instant success in theatres outside of Russia. He died in 1893. By 1903 Sleeping Beauty was the second most popular ballet in the reperotry of the Imperial Ballet
Serenade was the first ballet produced by legendary choreographer George Balanchine when he arrived in America also with music by Tchaikovsky.
Balanchine wrote this about the ballet, "Serenade was my first ballet in the United States. Soon after my arrival in America, Lincoln Kirstein, Edward M. M. Warburg, and I opened the School of American Ballet in New York. As part of the school curriculum, I started an evening ballet class in stage technique, to give the students some idea of how dancing on stage differs from classwork. Serenade evolved from the lessons I gave.”
"It seemed to me that the best way to make students aware of stage technique was to give them something new to dance, something they had never seen before. I chose Tchaikovsky’s Serenade to work with. The class contained the first night, seventeen girls and no boys. The problem was, how to arrange this odd number of girls so that they would look interesting. I placed them on diagonal lines and decided that the hands should move first to give the girls practice.”
"That was how Serenade began. The next class contained only nine girls; the third six. I choreographed to the music with the pupils I happened to have at a particular time. Boys began to attend the class and they were worked into the pattern. One day, when all the girls rushed off the floor area we were using as a stage, one of the girls fell and began to cry. I told the pianist to keep on playing and kept this bit in the dance. Another day, one of the girls was late for class, so I left that in too.”
"Later, when we staged Serenade, everything was revised. The girls who couldn't dance well were left out of the more difficult parts; I elaborated on the small accidental bits I had included in class and made the whole more dramatic, more theatrical, synchronizing it to the music with additional movement, but always using little things that ordinarily might be overlooked.”
"I’ve gone into a little detail here about Serenade because many people think there is a concealed story in the ballet. There is not. There are, simply, dancers in motion to a beautiful piece of music. The only story, a serenade, a dance, if you like, in the light of the moon."