Dance: Melody for Melissa

"For Milly, I decided to make a fuss," said Choreographer George Balanchine. "Milly" is Melissa Hayden, 50, retiring after 22 years as a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet.

The fuss that "Mr. B." had in mind was a new ballet for Melissa — and it was a triumph. Cortège Hongrois (roughly, "Hungarian Procession"), which was given its world premiere by the City Ballet last week, is one of the most eye-dazzling Balanchine works in years.

Based on Glazunov's melodious score for Raymonda, Cortège is an elegant, plotless exercise in classic Marinsky style...

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