George Balanchine

Photograph Photograph Photograph

Serge Lifar as Apollo in Apollon Musagète. Photographer unknown, possibly George Hoyningen-Huene, undated. Howard D. Rothschild Collection. b MS Thr 414.2 (85). Bequest, 1989.

Apollon Musagete

Apollon Musagète was commissioned by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge for a chamber music festival held in Washington, D.C. The first performance was given, with choreography by the former Ballets Russes dancer Adolf Bolm, at the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress, on April 27, 1928. However, the ballet received its première under Diaghilev’s auspices, with Balanchine’s choreography, only six weeks later, June 12, 1928, in Paris. In 1929 it was restaged by the Ballets Russes with new costumes by Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel. In all it received 35 performances, a high number considering that the Ballets Russes would exist for only one more year.