Pirouettes like Jagger: inside the unlikely Rolling Stones ballet

Mick Jagger and his ballerina girlfriend Melanie Hamrick hosted the US premiere of their ballet, soundtracked by Rolling Stones songs

“I hope you’re going to enjoy this wonderful, new ballet. And the music, of course.”

That was part of the tongue-in-cheek audio-only introduction courtesy of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, unveiling his and partner Melanie Hamrick’s ballet inspired by the music of the rocker’s band. Dubbed Porte Rogue, it had its North American premiere at New York’s David H Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on Thursday night.

The evening featured a buffet platter of both alumni and current members of the non-profit dancing organization, among them Hamrick; a veteran ballerina who choreographed the performance with orchestration by Jagger himself. The singer attended the event two short weeks after undergoing heart surgery.

Halfway through the gala performance, which was meant to shine a light on the 20th anniversary year of the Youth America Grand Prix and also featured speaker Cicely Tyson, the lights went down and Jagger’s unmistakable voice came over the loudspeaker introducing the number, which had its world debut last month at St Petersburg, Russia’s Mariinsky Theatre.

So what exactly does a ballet inspired by the music of the Rolling Stones ential? Accented by vivid colors and an intricate lighting design, the performance utilizes the band’s original tracks and opens with the iconic bongos and Jagger’s yelps from their 1968 hit Sympathy for the Devil, which itself was the opening song of their seminal album Beggars Banquet.

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