Music: Happy Impromptu

The newest ballet in Manhattan last week started off as relaxed as a picnic, and seemingly just as impromptu. As the curtain went up, a man in a grey double-breasted suit strolled on to the nearly bare stage, clarinet in hand. Taking his time, he eventually reached a stool in a downstage corner. He tootled a few warm-up phrases; then the orchestra in the pit joined in a discreet background from Aaron Copland's Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra. Thereafter, Jerome Robbins' Pied Piper kept its happy air of the impromptu, but it was scarcely relaxed.

A boy and girl in rehearsal...

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