Nora Kaye & Hugh Laing

Recorded at Jacob's Pillow: 
June 29, 1951

One of the most popular works that Balanchine created for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, this charming dance premiered in London and has sometimes been known as Les Dieux Mendiants or The Shepherd's Wooing, but it has rarely been presented and remains a true novelty. The premise of the dance is that a shepherd and serving-maid are actually divine beings in disguise. Hugh Laing first performed the work with Ballet Rambert in the 1930s, and this Pillow presentation was undoubtedly arranged by Antony Tudor, who was in charge of all ballet programming for the season. Nora Kaye established her reputation as a great dramatic ballerina with Ballet Theater, but at the time of this performance she had recently begun a brief stint with New York City Ballet.

Dance Title: The Gods Go a-Begging
Choreography: George Balanchine (1928)
Music: George Frideric Handel, arranged by Sir Thomas Beecham (added to video in 2013)