Offenbach in the Underworld (1954)


Offenbach of the Underworld

1956 - Ballet Theatre production
Photo by Sedge Le Blang; Photo courtesy of Judith Chasin-Bennahum


One of the great originals of modern dance forms, Tudor is seen as a principal trans-former of ballet into a modern art. His work is usually considered as modern "psychological" expression of austerity, elegance and nobility. Offenbach in the Underworld, a humorous story about the flirtatious interactions among celebrities at a 1870s French café, is filled with colorful characters and costumes. It culminates with a sultry and exhilarating chorus line of high kicking known as the “can-can.”

Antony Tudor
Music / Composer
Jacques Offenbach
Gaite Parisienne
Orchestrated by Manuel Rosenthal
First Performance
Convention Hall
May 8, 1954
Philadelphia Ballet Guild
Cast First Performance
Michael Land, Viola Essen, Ruth Anne Carr, Paula Mainwaring, Sylvia Kim, Michael Lopuszanski, Maurice Phillips, Elaine Wilson, Jon Jones, William Wilson, Judith Gesensway, Odette Phillips, Laura Campbell, Phyllis Dersh, Barbara Flaxman, Dorothy Greathead, Elizabeth Mozley, Claire Shirli, Robert Daley, Vincent Gonzales, Olin Kearse, Joseph Plomchok, Conchetta De Prospero, Ann Garrick, Sybil Klein
Judith Gesensway (Skoogfors)
First Canadian Performance
National Ballet of Canada 1954
Kay Ambrose
First NY Performance
Metropolitan Opera House
April 18, 1956
Ballet Theatre
Scenery / Costumes
Rene Bouche
Notated in 1975 by Lynne Weber; revised by Leslie Rotman 1983-86 (Labanotation); 1975 by Susanne Menck (Benesh Notation)
Number of Dancers
3+12 Women, 3+4 Men
Average Length
40 Minutes
National Ballet Canada; Joffrey Ballet; Ballet West
National Ballet Canada; Ballet West
Licensing Information
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Ballet Synopsis excerpted with permission from
The Ballets of Antony Tudor by Judith Chazin-Bennahum.



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