The Concert

(or, The Perils of Everybody)


Frederic Chopin (Polonaise “Militaire”, 1838; Berceuse, Op. 57, 1843; Prelude, Op. 28, No. 18, 1831?-1839; Prelude, Op. 28, No. 16, 1831?-1839; Waltz in E Minor [Posth], c. 1830; Prelude, Op. 28, No. 7, 1831?-1839; Prelude, Op. 28, No. 4, 1831?-1839; Mazurka in G Major [Posth.], 1829; Ballade, Op. 47, No. 3, 1841), orchestrated by Clare Grundman


Jerome Robbins


Judith Fugate

Scenic Design

Edward Gorey

Costume Design

Irene Sharaff

Lighting Design

Jennifer Tipton, recreated by Randall G. Chiarelli


31 minutes


March 6, 1956; New York City Ballet

PNB Premiere

September 15, 2007

The 2007 Seattle premiere of The Concert (or, The Perils of Everybody) was generously underwritten by Ernest & Diane Burgess and Glenn Kawasaki.

Program Notes

Choreographer Jerome Robbins wrote: “One of the pleasures of attending a concert is the freedom to lose oneself in listening to the music. Quite often, unconsciously, mental pictures and images form, and the patterns and paths of these reveries are influenced by the music itself, or its program notes, or by the personal dreams, problems, and fantasies of the listener. Chopin’s music in particular has been subject to fanciful ‘program’ names, such as the Butterfly Etude, the Minute Waltz, the Raindrop Prelude, etc.”

Choreographed in 1956, The Concert is a comic spoof of a classical music concert. The setting is an all-Chopin recital where the attendees allow their decidedly imaginative minds to wander. When the resulting images are danced, human foibles and insecurities are revealed as Robbins brings each fantasy comically and vividly to life. A genuine crowd-pleaser, The Concert illustrates Robbins’ remarkable insight into the delightful imperfections of human relationships and, in the midst of the laughter, enlightens us all.

Notes compiled by Doug Fullington.