A young, 24 year-old George Balanchine achieved international success with his second ballet Apollo, marking the first of his lifelong collaborations with composer Igor Stravinsky. Balanchine highly regarded Apollo as it paralleled his own coming of age.
Apollo, originally known as Apollon Musagéte, premiered on June 12, 1928 at the Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt in Paris, performed by the Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. The ballet tells the story of the young god Apollo as he is ushered into adulthood by the muses of poetry, mime, and dance. It is a 28-minute ballet usually performed as a quartet. Apollo made its American debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, performed by the American Ballet Theatre.
“Apollo I look back on as the turning point of my life. In its discipline and restraint, in its sustained oneness of tone and feeling, the score was a revelation. It seemed to tell me that I could dare not to use everything, that I, too, could eliminate.” —George Balanchine