Choreography: Dennis Nahat
Music: Johannes Brahms Listen to the score
Premiere: American Ballet Theatre 1969
With no accessible videos on the Web and very little written about Dennis Nahat’s Brahms Quintet, I can report only on what Balanchine saw in the ballet and wrote of in “101.” Balanchine refers to the score as a “masterpiece,” which probably accounts for much of his praise of the ballet as Balanchine based his choreographic work always on his appreciation of music. This abstract ballet featuring four pairs of soloists and nine supporting dancers, “uses the score for its narrative” but according to Washington Post critic Jean Battey Lewis, it “still celebrates the affection between the dancers.”
Nahat, an American dancer and choreographer, and co-founder of the Cleveland Ballet, choreographed Brahms Quintet “for ABT at a time when the American dancers were being upstaged by the influx of Russian talent” (Renee Renouf, May 2001).