The ballet takes place in a large theatre during the 1800s. The opening scene is backstage where members of a ballet company, complete with ballet master, conductor and wardrobe personnel, are in the throws of last minute preparation for a Gala Performance with three very distinguished guests - La Reine de la Danse (from Moscow), La Deesse de la Danse (from Milan) and la File de Terpsichore (from Paris). Individually, the guest artistes arrive and their hosts (and the audience!) instantly assess their personalities. In the performance which follows, each guest appears and the Gala concludes on a high note as the "stars" attempt to steal the limelight from each other during their curtain calls.
Ballet Synopsis excerpted with permission from the Ballets of Antony Tudor by Judith Chazin-Bennahum.
Choreography: Antony Tudor.
Music / Composer: 1st movement of Piano Concerto #3 and Classical Symphony, Serge Prokofiev.
First Performance: London. Toynbee Hall Theatre. December 5th, 1938. London Ballet.
First Performance Cast: Peggy van Praagh, Maude Lloyd, Gerd Larson, Antony Tudor, Guy Massey, Hugh Laing, Monica Boam, Rosa Vernon, Sylvia Hayden, Charlotte Bidmead, Susan Reeves, Katherine Legris, Terese Langfield.
Scenery / Costumes (London): Hugh Stevenson.
First U.S. Premiere: New York. Majestic Theatre. February 11, 1941. Ballet Theatre.
First U.S. Performance Cast: Nora Kaye, Nana Gollner, Karen Conrad, Hugh Laing, Edward Caton, Tania Dokoudovska, Antony Tudor.
Scenery / Costumes (U.S.): Nicolas de Moias.
First Canadian Performance: Ottawa, Ontario. Capital Theatre. November 18, 1953.
Scenery / Costumes (Canada): Kay Ambrose.
Notated: 1988 by Leslie Rotman (Labanotation).
Number of Dancers: 3+10 Women, 3+4 Men.
Average Length: 25 minutes.
Costumes: ABT, Kansas City Ballet, Australian Ballet.
Scenery: ABT, Kansas City Ballet, Australian Ballet.