"The ballet's name directly evokes sunflowers which always keep their heads turned toward the sun, and bloom in the heart of summer. The four ladies of the ballet are friends of long acquaintanceship having known each other for almost as long as they can remember and every summer they seem to have been brought together at this particular bit of countryside, for here they regathered in what seems to be the corner of a hayfield with an old weather beaten log fence separating it from the country lane in the background and down which the two men have strolled onto the scene. They are also old acquaintances and have wandered by wondering if the girls are still around."
Antony Tudor, in a letter to Isabel Mirrow (Brown).
Sunflowers is one of three N.E.A. ballets (Sunflowers, Cereus, and Continuo) that provide rich sources for small companies and enable them to mount a Tudor work without the cost of expensive sets and intricate costumes.
Ballet Synopsis excerpted with permission from the Ballets of Antony Tudor by Judith Chazin-Bennahum.
Choreography: Antony Tudor.
Music / Composer: String Quartet #1, Leos Janacek.
First Performance: New York. The Juilliard School. Private viewing. May 27th, 1971. Juilliard Dance Ensemble.
Professional Premiere: Omaha, Nebraska. May 13th, 1972. Omaha Ballet Society.
Professional Premiere Cast: Madeline Rhew, Airi Hynninen, Pamela Knisel, Deborah Weaver, Anthony Salatino, Larry Grenier.
Notated: 1972 by Muriel Topaz (Labanotation).
Number of Dancers: 4 Women, 2 Men.
Average Length: 23 minutes.
Costumes: Festival Ballet Theatre.