Peter and the Wolf
20th March 2018
Harlow Robinson, The New York Times
Sergei Prokofiev composed Peter and the Wolf in the gloomy early Russian spring of 1936, whilst he was living alone in a hotel, awaiting his family's arrival from Europe. His return to Moscow in 1936 coincided with the beginning of the worst years of the Stalinist purges, which would carry off many of his associates, and profoundly affect his own personal and musical life. Perhaps it was the very grimness of the atmosphere that led Prokofiev to seek escape in a bright and carefree world of childhood summer and crafty animals. If so, this was a remarkably ingenious and imaginative form of avoidance behavior.
So inspired and amused was Prokofiev by his work on Peter and the Wolf that the entire piece was written in only a few weeks. The orchestration was finished on April 24, 1936, one day after Prokofiev's 45th birthday.
Петя и волк has been narrated by celebrities worldwide, ranging from rock stars (David Bowie) to diplomats (Eleanor Roosevelt) to baseball players (Tom Seaver), fashion designer (Issac Mizrahi presented at the Guggenheim Museum) and continues to be a favored classic for dance presentations worldwide.
The Washington Ballet
The Washington Ballet's Studio Company season opens March 24 2018 with the DC Youth Orchestra Program in Brian Reeder's colorful choreography of Peter and the Wolf.
Reeder danced for New York City Ballet (1986-1990), William Forsythe's Ballet Frankfurt (1990-1993), and American Ballet Theatre (1994-2003). As a choreographer, he created or restaged his work on American Ballet Theatre, ABT Studio Company, Washington Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Company C Contemporary Ballet, and BalletNext. His work has been produced several times for Works & Process at the Guggenheim. His grants and fellowships include The New York Choreographic Fellowship, The Jerome Robbins Foundation for New Works, and The Boomerang Foundation.
Tickets: The Washington Ballet
Listen: David Bowie narrates with Chicago Symphony Orchestra