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Circus Polka

"Stravinsky's Circus Polka was composed precisely for the circus -- for the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus in 1942. The circus impresarios wanted to do a ballet for elephants.

"They asked me

[George Balanchine] to arrange the dance and told me I could choose the composer. Who else but Stravinsky? I telephoned him, not giving away the whole story:

"'What kind of music?' he asked.
"'A polka,' I said.
"'For whom!' he wanted to know.
"'Elephants.'
"'How old?'
"'Young!'
"'Okay, if they are very young, I'll do it.'"

[The Circus Polka was a staggering success.]

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