Works
 

The Brahms-Haydn Variations

Description

The Brahms-Haydn Variations is a culmination of Tharp’s work in large-cast classical ballets.

Johannes Brahms’ symphony opens with a theme composed by Joseph Haydn and follows it with eight variations and a finale, each with a distinct mood, tempo, meter and use of counterpoint. Tharp incorporated this form into the choreography, which transitions from full-company march to a gentle pas de deux until the finale synthesizes the preceding sections in a passacaglia.

The ballet is an achievement not only in the dance phrases, but also in the organization and management of the large cast. Tharp’s development of counterpoint in the movement throughout the ballet provides a structure through which dancing in the foreground, middleground and background is coordinated. 

Photos

142
  • Brahms-Haydn Variations
    Gomes and Herrera in performance. © Rosalie O'Connor
  • Tharp observes a rehearsal with Jaffe and Carreño. © Twyla Tharp
  • Dancers of American Ballet Theater perform. © Gene Schiavone

Video

A brief excerpt featuring members of American Ballet Theatre.
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Music

Music Program:

Variations on a Theme by Haydn for Orchestra, Op. 56a
By Johannes Brahms

1. Thema. Chorale St. Antoni. Andante
2. Variation I. Poco più animato (Andante con moto)
3. Variation II. Più vivace (Vivace)
4. Variation III. Con moto
5. Variation IV. Andante con moto (Andante)
6. Variation V. Vivace (Poco presto)
7. Variation VI. Vivace
8. Variation VII. Grazioso
9. Variation VIII. Presto non troppo (Poco presto)
10. Finale. Andante

Audio Sample: 

Variation VII. Grazioso:

Performance History

March 21, 2000
Notes:

Additional performances on March 22 & 23, 2000

Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY
May 8, 2000
Notes:

Additional performance on May 10, 2000

Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY
May 1, 2001
Notes:

Additional performances on May 2 & 3, 2001

Staatsoper Unter der Linden, Berlin, Germany
September 2, 2001
Notes:

Additional performances on November 3 & 13, 2001

Civic Opera House, Chicago, IL
April 14, 2009
The Metropolitan Opera House, New York, New York
January 26, 2010
Weiner Staatsoper, Vienna, Austria
October 24, 2010
Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna, Austria
April 11, 2012
Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna, Austria
June 12, 2012
September 20, 2012
Wortham Theater Center, Houston, TX
November 30, 2012
David H. Koch Theater, New York, NY
October 21, 2015
Notes:
Additional performances on October 22, 24, 31, and November 1.
David H. Koch Theater, New York, NY
October 19, 2016
Notes:
Performance at 7:30pm. Additional performances October 21-23.
David H. Koch Theater, New York, NY
October 21, 2016
Notes:
Performance at 7:30pm. Additional performances October 19, 22-23.
David H. Koch Theater, New York, NY
October 22, 2016
Notes:
Performance at 2:00pm. Additional performances October 19, 21, 23.
David H. Koch Theater, New York, NY
October 23, 2016
Notes:
Additional performances on October 19, 21, 22.