Agnes de Mille suggested a cowboy ballet to the reluctant Ballet Russe. She said, "I dug in my heels and said I wanted the best American composer for the music, Aaron Copland." Rodeo was an enormous success from the start. De Mille said, "I gave the performance of my life and got twenty-two curtain calls." Copland particularly enjoyed conducting the ballet and the orchestral suite he drew from it, the Four Dance Episodes. Rodeo incorporates several American folk songs and dance tunes.
-Vivian Perlis, 1998