Brief Fling is Mikhail Baryshnikov’s last commission from Tharp during his tenure as artistic director of American Ballet Theatre. The title references both the traditional Scottish dance and a short-lived romance. Isaac Mizrahi's tartan costumes divide the dancers into clans of blue, red, green and off-white.
In the opening section, two soloist couples in red and a quartet in green punch out syncopated phrases to a military tattoo. The principal couple clad in blue performs an extended set of variations to an English folk song backed by the ensemble dancers dressed in off-white. The finale features each clan in succession, compounding into a furioso fugue.
The score by Michel Colombier intersperses Percy Grainger’s sunny interpretations of traditional melodies from the United Kingdom with an ominous electronic score.
Additional performances during ABT's two-month season at the Metropolitan Opera House
Additional performances during ABT's two-week season at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Additional performances on February 6 & 7, 1991
Additional performances on July 7, 10 & 13, 1991
Additional performance on May 15, 1994
Additional performances on October 29 - November 2, 2008
Additional performances on February 18 & 19, 2009