Fancy Free is headlined by Jerome Robbins' Fancy Free, and includes Peter Martins' Barber Violin Concerto and Harald Lander's Études. Robbins' Fancy Free was the master choreographer's first ballet, premiered on April 18, 1944. It would become one of his greatest successes and be one of the most popular ballets in American history. The work marked the emergence of both Robbins' talent as a choreographer and the talents of a young composer, Leonard Bernstein. Fancy Free follows the story of sailors on shore leave getting into a bit of romantic mischief.
Martins' Barber Violin Concerto continues the program. This work, set to Samuel Barber, presents three movements for two couples in various pas de deuxs. Barber's masterful music evokes distinct styles of movement from each couple from melancholy, to lyrical, to energetic. The dancers, dressed all in white, provide a blank canvas for the distinct choreography and composition of this work.
Danish dancer and choreographer Harald Lander's Études completes Fancy Free. Études is considered Lander's most acclaimed and popular choreographic work. It has an original score by Carl Czerny, arranged by Knudage Riisäger. The one-act ballet has been referred to as "an homage to classical ballet training." The work begins simply with dancers at a barre and ends with a sequence of thrilling choreography. Études is a fitting way to end the 2011-2012 season.