Ballet: Back on Solid Ground

Stravinsky composed his ballet Les Noces for a chorus, a quartet of solo singers, four grand pianos and six percussionists, and demanded that they, as well as the dancers, all be onstage. Last week at the New York State Theater, Jerome Robbins crammed them all in, contrived an angular, hectic choreography for Stravinsky's feverish music.

The ballet tells the story of an old Russian peasant wedding. Like some great infernal machine, the ballet crashes on in a barbaric, sensual ritual. First the bride and her maids, the bridegroom and his companions, each...

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