The three ballets that the New York City Ballet presented last night at Kennedy Center's Opera House were not only representative of the company's 1981 Tchaikovsky Festival, during which each ballet received its premiere, but of the other composer-dedicated festivals that the company has celebrated during the last decade. One work was a remake, one a showcase for little-known and less-remembered music, the third a ballet set to a more-familiar score.

Balanchine first choreographed a ballet to Tchaikovsky's "Mozartiana" in 1933, which he later amended several times. The 1981 work is neither amendment nor revival, but a completely rechoreographed ballet.

As a score, "Mozartiana" is about as minimalist as Tchaikovsky gets, and Balanchine pares his cast to match. Most of Balanchine's Tchaikovsky ballets use platoons of dancers, but in "Mozartiana" there is only a ballerina, danseur and male soloist, supported by a corps de ballet of four women and another of four little girls.

After the opening, ethereal "Preghiera," where Suzanne Farrell dances a solo constructed almost completely of pas de bourees as peaceful and natural as breathing, the ballet turns courtly. Victor Castelli's dances to the "Gigue" are those of an intelligent jester, a Mercutio. When Farrell's partner, Ib Andersen, enters to dance the "Theme and Variations" section with her, the ballet becomes physical. Andersen and Farrell's relationship is unusual in Balanchine ballets. Physically well-matched, they seem emotionally remote. Courtesan and courtier, their relationship excludes conversation.

During the several solos and pas de deux which follow, Farrell dominates, though her dances are less brilliant, and were less brilliantly performed, than Andersen's. "Mozartiana" hides treasure; it is a ballet to be seen several times.

The treasures in Jerome Robbins' "Piano Pieces" are immediately visible. This suite of exquisitely choreographed dances is set to mostly unfamiliar piano works. The ballet lacks the atmosphere of "Dances at a Gathering" or the framing devise Robbins used for "Goldberg Variations." A "Petit Cavalier" (Christopher d'Amboise) bounds in and out and seems to be a linking device, but d'Amboise as yet lacks the technique and presence necessary to pull the ballet together. The dancing of the six soloists was as rich and clear as the choreography they performed.

It would be fun to try to guess the "story" of John Taras' "Souvenir de Florence. The ballet might be a village fete or a mass wedding that never came off. Everyone is dressed in white; girls with their hair flowing are given partners; girls with their hair in braids are denied them. There's a passage at the ballet's center in which three soloist couples react with abject terror to an unspecified external force, then, without resolution, happily resume dancing.

"Souvenir" entertains but never astounds. The finale is masterful, matching the florid score. But aside from the piquant, full-bodied dancing of Judith Fugate and a bravura solo danced by Sean Lavery with elegance and vitality, the ballet has little to recommend it. Tchaikovsky should be remembered by other souvenirs. 3 Doses Of Dance By Alexander Tomalonis

The three ballets that the New York City Ballet presented last night at Kennedy Center's Opera House were not only representative of the company's 1981 Tchaikovsky Festival, during which each ballet received its premiere, but of the other composer-dedicated festivals that the company has celebrated during the last decade. One work was a remake, one a showcase for little-known and less-remembered music, the third a ballet set to a more-familiar score.

Balanchine first choreographed a ballet to Tchaikovsky's "Mozartiana" in 1933, which he later amended several times. The 1981 work is neither amendment nor revival, but a completely rechoreographed ballet.

As a score, "Mozartiana" is about as minimalist as Tchaikovsky gets, and Balanchine pares his cast to match. Most of Balanchine's Tchaikovsky ballets use platoons of dancers, but in "Mozartiana" there is only a ballerina, danseur and male soloist, supported by a corps de ballet of four women and another of four little girls.

After the opening, ethereal "Preghiera," where Suzanne Farrell dances a solo constructed almost completely of pas de bourees as peaceful and natural as breathing, the ballet turns courtly. Victor Castelli's dances to the "Gigue" are those of an intelligent jester, a Mercutio. When Farrell's partner, Ib Andersen, enters to dance the "Theme and Variations" section with her, the ballet becomes physical. Andersen and Farrell's relationship is unusual in Balanchine ballets. Physically well-matched, they seem emotionally remote. Courtesan and courtier, their relationship excludes conversation.

During the several solos and pas de deux which follow, Farrell dominates, though her dances are less brilliant, and were less brilliantly performed, than Andersen's. "Mozartiana" hides treasure; it is a ballet to be seen several times.

The treasures in Jerome Robbins' "Piano Pieces" are immediately visible. This suite of exquisitely choreographed dances is set to mostly unfamiliar piano works. The ballet lacks the atmosphere of "Dances at a Gathering" or the framing devise Robbins used for "Goldberg Variations." A "Petit Cavalier" (Christopher d'Amboise) bounds in and out and seems to be a linking device, but d'Amboise as yet lacks the technique and presence necessary to pull the ballet together. The dancing of the six soloists was as rich and clear as the choreography they performed.

It would be fun to try to guess the "story" of John Taras' "Souvenir de Florence. The ballet might be a village fete or a mass wedding that never came off. Everyone is dressed in white; girls with their hair flowing are given partners; girls with their hair in braids are denied them. There's a passage at the ballet's center in which three soloist couples react with abject terror to an unspecified external force, then, without resolution, happily resume dancing.

"Souvenir" entertains but never astounds. The finale is masterful, matching the florid score. But aside from the piquant, full-bodied dancing of Judith Fugate and a bravura solo danced by Sean Lavery with elegance and vitality, the ballet has little to recommend it. Tchaikovsky should be remembered by other souvenirs.