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New York City Ballet

 

Beginning

New York City Ballet (NYCB) is a ballet company founded in 1948 by choreographer George Balanchine[1] and Lincoln Kirstein.[2] Leon Barzin was the company’s first music director. Balanchine and Jerome Robbins are considered the founding choreographers of the company. City Ballet grew out of earlier troupes: the Producing Company of the School of American Ballet,[3] 1934; the American Ballet,[4] 1935, and Ballet Caravan, 1936, which merged into American Ballet Caravan,[5] 1941; and directly from the Ballet Society,[6][7] 1946.

 

History

The company was named New York City Ballet when it became resident at City Center of Music and Drama in 1948.[8][9] Its success was marked by its move to the New York State Theater, now David H. Koch Theater, designed by Philip Johnson to Balanchine’s specifications. City Ballet went on to become the first ballet company in the United States to have two permanent venue engagements: one at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater on 63rd Street in Manhattan, and another at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, in Saratoga Springs, New York. The School of American Ballet (S.A.B.), which Balanchine founded, is the training school of City Ballet.

After the company’s move to the State Theater, Balanchine’s creativity as a choreographer flourished. He created works that were the basis of the company’s repertory until his death in 1983. His vision influenced dance both across the United States and in Europe. He worked closely with choreographer Jerome Robbins, who resumed his connection with the company in 1969 after having produced works for Broadway.

NYCB still has the largest repertoire by far of any American ballet company, and it often stages 60 ballets or more in its winter and spring seasons at Lincoln Center each year and 20 or more in its summer season in Saratoga Springs. City Ballet has performed The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and many more. City Ballet has trained and developed many great dancers since its formation, including:

 

  • Allegra Kent
  • Arthur Mitchell
  • Edward Villella
  • Gelsey Kirkland
  • Jacques d’Amboise
  • Jillana
  • Kyra Nichols
  • Maria Tallchief
  • Melissa Hayden
  • Merrill Ashley
  • Mikhail Baryshnikov
  • Patricia McBride
  • Suzanne Farrell
  • Tanaquil LeClerq
  • Peter Martins,
balletmaster in chief

 


 

Video Clips

 

 

Salute to Italy

See also Category: New York City Ballet Salute to Italy. In 1960 Balanchine mounted City Ballet’s Salute to Italy with premieres of Monumentum pro Gesualdo and Variations from Don Sebastian, called the Donizetti Variations since 1961, as well as performances of his La Sonnambula and Lew Christensen’s Con Amore. The performance was repeated in 1968.

Stravinsky Festival

 

In 1972 Balanchine offered an eight-day tribute to the composer, his great collaborator, who had died the year before. His programs included twenty-two new works of his own dances, plus works by choreographers Todd Bolender, John Clifford, Lorca Massine, Jerome Robbins, Richard Tanner and John Taras, as well as repertory ballets by Balanchine and Robbins. Balanchine created Symphony in Three Movements, Duo Concertant and Violin Concerto for the occasion. He and Robbins co-choreographed and performed in Pulcinella. Balanchine produced an earlier Stravinsky festival as balletmaster of the American Ballet while engaged by the Metropolitan Opera in 1937. The composer conducted the April 27th premiere of Card Party.

Ravel Festival

In 1975 Balanchine paid his respects to the French composer Maurice Ravel with a two-week Hommage à Ravel. Balanchine, Robbins, Jacques d’Amboise, and Taras made sixteen new ballets for the occasion. Repertory ballets were performed as well. High points included Balanchine’s Le Tombeau de Couperin and Robbins’ Mother Goose. NYCB is a professional school

Tschaikovsky Festival

In 1981 Balanchine planned a two-week NYCB festival honoring the Russian composer Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky. Balanchine, Joseph Duell, d’Amboise, Peter Martins, Robbins and Taras created twelve new dances. In addition to presenting these and repertory ballets, Balanchine re-choreographed his Mozartziana from 1933. Philip Johnson and John Burgee’s stage setting of translucent tubing was designed by to be hung and lit in different architectural configurations throughout the entire festival.

Stravinsky Centennial Celebration

See also Category: New York City Ballet Stravinsky Centennial Celebration. In 1982 Balanchine organized a centennial celebration in honor of his long-time collaborator Igor Stravinsky during which twenty-five ballets set to the composer’s music were performed by City Ballet. Balanchine made three new ballets, Tango, Élégie and Persephone, and a new version of Variations.[10]

New York State Theater 20-Year Celebration

On April 26, 1984, NYCB celebrated the 20th anniversary of the New York State Theater. The program started with Igor Stravinsky’s Fanfare for a New Theater, followed by Stravinsky’s arrangement of The Star-Spangled Banner. The ballets included: three of Balanchine’s works, Serenade, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, and Sonatine; and Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun. The performers included Maria Calegari, Kyra Nichols, Heather Watts, Leonid Kozlov, Afshin Mofid, Patricia McBride, Helgi Tomasson, Karin von Aroldingen, Lourdes Lopez, Bart Cook, and Joseph Duell.[11]

American Music Festival

See also Category: New York City Ballet American Music Festival. After Balanchine’s death in 1983, Peter Martins was selected as balletmaster of the company. For its 40th anniversary, Martins held an American Music Festival, having commissioned dances from choreographers Laura Dean, Eliot Feld, William Forsythe, Lar Lubovitch and Paul Taylor. He also presented ballets by George Balanchine and Robbins. The programs included world premieres of more than twenty dances. Martins contributed Barber Violin Concerto, Black and White, The Chairman Dances, A Fool for You, Fred and George, Sophisticated Lady, Tanzspiel, Tea-Rose and The Waltz Project.

Jerome Robbins celebration

A major component of the Spring 2008 season was a celebration of Jerome Robbins; major revivals were mounted of the following ballets:

  • 2 and 3 Part Inventions
  • Afternoon of a Faun
  • Andantino
  • Antique Epigraphs
  • Brahms/Handel
  • Brandenburg
  • The Cage
  • The Concert
  • Dances at a Gathering
  • Dybbuk
  • Fancy Free
  • Fanfare
  • Four Bagatelles
  • The Four Seasons
  • Glass Pieces
  • The Goldberg Variations
  • I’m Old Fashioned
  • In G Major
  • In Memory of …
  • In the Night
  • Interplay
  • Ives, Songs
  • NY Export: Opus Jazz
  • Les Noces
  • Opus 19/The Dreamer
  • Other Dances
  • Piano Pieces
  • A Suite of Dances
  • Watermill
  • West Side Story Suite

Dancers’ Choice

Friday, June 27, 2008 the first Dancers’ Choice benefit was held for the Dancers’ Emergency Fund. The program was initiated by Peter Martins, conceived and supervised by principal dancer Jonathan Stafford, assisted by Kyle Froman, Craig Hall, Amanda Hankes, Adam Hendrickson, Ask la Cour, Henry Seth and Daniel Ulbricht, and consisted of:

  • Beethoven Romance
  • Flit of Fury/The Monarch[nb 1]

and excerpts from:

  • Ecstatic Orange
  • Jewels
    • (Emeralds)
    • (Rubies)
  • Square Dance
  • Interplay
  • Dances at a Gathering
  • Glass Pieces
  • Union Jack
  • Stars snd Stripes
  • Mercurial Manoeuvres
  • Symphony in C

Sunday June 14, 2009 the second Dancers’ Choice benefit was held at a special evening performance, the program included: Sleeping Beauty and Union Jack.[12][13] This program was supervised by principal dancer Jenifer Ringer.

 


 

Programming

 

NYCB performs winter and spring repertory seasons at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center as well as George Balanchine’s Nutcracker during November and December; they have a summer residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and regularly tour internationally.

 

Fourth Ring Society and Talks

 

City Ballet’s Fourth Ring Society offers discounted tickets to members. Membership is open to the general public.[14]

Introductory talks about the current performance, called Dancer Chats or First Position Discussions,[15] are held before some performances or during some intervals; the docents are volunteers and include laymen as well as former dancers

 

New York Choreographic Institute

 

City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute was founded by Irene Diamond and Peter Martins in 2000 . The institute has three main programmatic programs: choreographic sessions, providing choreographers with dancers and studio space; fellowship initiatives, annual awards in support of an emerging choreographer affiliated with a ballet company; and choreographic forums, symposia and round-table discussions on choreography, music, and design elements.

 

Present (as of July 2011)

Subject to change

Balletmaster in chief

Peter Martins, who first danced with City Ballet in 1967 joined the company as a principal dancer in 1970, [16] in 1981 was named balletmaster, a title shared with Balanchine, Robbins and John Taras. Martins served as co-balletmaster in chief with Robbins from 1983 to 1989 and assumed sole directorship of the company in 1990.

Balletmistress

  • Rosemary Dunleavy

Balletmasters

  • Karin von Aroldingen
  • Jean-Pierre Frohlich
  • Susan Hendl
  • Lisa Jackson
  • Russell Kaiser
  • Sara Leland
  • Christine Redpath
  • Richard Tanner
  • Kathleen Tracey

Assistant to the balletmaster in chief

  • Sean Lavery

Teaching associate

  • Merrill Ashley

Children’s balletmaster

  • Garielle Whittle

Assistant children’s balletmaster

  • Dena Abergel

Music director

  • Fayçal Karoui

Dancers

as of July 2011 [17]

Principal dancers

 

  • Jared Angle
  • Tyler Angle
  • Charles Askegard
  • Ashley Bouder
  • Joaquín De Luz
  • Megan Fairchild
  • Robert Fairchild
  • Gonzalo Garcia
  • Sterling Hyltin
  • Maria Kowroski
  • Sébastien Marcovici
  • Sara Mearns
  • Benjamin Millepied
  • Tiler Peck
  • Amar Ramasar
  • Teresa Reichlen
  • Jenifer Ringer
  • Jennie Somogyi
  • Abi Stafford
  • Jonathan Stafford
  • Janie Taylor
  • Daniel Ulbricht
  • Andrew Veyette
  • Wendy Whelan

Soloists

 

  • Ellen Bar
  • Antonio Carmena
  • Adrian Danchig-Waring
  • Chase Finlay
  • Craig Hall
  • Adam Hendrickson
  • Anthony Huxley
  • Rebecca Krohn [18]
  • Ask la Cour
  • Savannah Lowery
  • Kathryn Morgan
  • Erica Pereira
  • Rachel Rutherford
  • Ana Sophia Scheller
  • Sean Suozzi

Corps de ballet

 

  • Sara Adams
  • Devin Alberda
  • Marika Anderson
  • Daniel Applebaum
  • Faye Arthurs
  • Callie Bachman
  • Likolani Brown
  • Zachary Catazaro
  • Stephanie Chrosniak
  • Maya Collins
  • Cameron Dieck
  • Alina Dronova
  • Emilie Gerrity
  • Kaitlyn Gilliland
  • Sam Greenberg
  • Amanda Hankes
  • Brittany Hillyer
  • Ashly Isaacs
  • Ralph Ippolito
  • Dana Jacobson
  • Russell Janzen
  • Dara Johnson
  • Megan Johnson
  • Lauren King
  • Ashley Laracey
  • Austin Laurent
  • Megan LeCrone
  • Lauren Lovette
  • Meagan Mann
  • Jenelle Manzi
  • Gwyneth Muller
  • Ellen Ostrom
  • Vincent Paradiso
  • Georgina Pazcoguin
  • Justin Peck
  • Allen Peiffer
  • Brittany Pollack
  • David Prottas
  • Shoshana Rosenfield
  • Troy Schumacher
  • Andrew Scordato
  • Kristen Segin
  • Mary Elizabeth Sell
  • Henry Seth
  • Gretchen Smith
  • Taylor Stanley
  • Joshua Thew
  • Lara Tong
  • Christian Tworzyanski
  • Giovanni Villalobos
  • Sarah Villwock
  • Lydia Wellington
  • Stephanie Zungre

 


 

Former dancers

Former principal dancers

 

  • Albert Evans
  • Alexandra Ansanelli
  • Allegra Kent
  • Arthur Mitchell
  • Bart Cook
  • Damian Woetzel
  • Daniel Duell
  • Darci Kistler
  • Edward Villella
  • Gelsey Kirkland
  • Gen Horiuchi
  • Jacques d’Amboise
  • James Fayette
  • Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux
  • Jillana
  • Jocelyn Vollmar
  • Jock Soto
  • John Clifford
  • Judith Fugate
  • Karin von Aroldingen
  • Kyra Nichols
  • Leonid Kozlov
  • Lourdes Lopez
  • Maria Calegari
  • Maria Tallchief
  • Melissa Hayden
  • Merrill Ashley
  • Mikhail Baryshnikov
  • Miranda Weese
  • Monique Meunier
  • Nikolaj Hübbe
  • Nilas Martins
  • Patricia McBride
  • Patricia Neary
  • Peter Boal
  • Peter Martins
  • Philip Neal
  • Robert La Fosse
  • Robert Tewsley
  • Robert Weiss
  • Sofiane Sylve
  • Stephen Hanna
  • Suzanne Farrell
  • Tanaquil LeClerq
  • Yvonne Borree
  • Yvonne Mounsey

Former soloists

 

  • Elyse Borne
  • Jason Fowler
  • Jean-Pierre Frohlich
  • Susan Gluck
  • Tom Gold
  • Gloria Govrin
  • Susan Hendl
  • Arch Higgins
  • Katrina Killian
  • Carla Körbes
  • Edwaard Liang
  • Seth Orza
  • Christine Redpath
  • Carol Sumner
  • Jennifer Tinsley-Williams
  • Diana White

Former corps de ballet

  • Aaron Severini
  • Amy Barker
  • Briana Atkins
  • Briana Shepherd [19]
  • Cara Copeland
  • Courtney Muscroft
  • Darius Barnes [19]
  • Darla Hoover
  • Deborah Wingert
  • Dena Abergel
  • Elizabeth Walker
  • Glenn Keenan
  • Katie Bergstrom [19]
  • Kristin Sloan
  • Kyle Froman
  • Lindy Mandradjieff
  • Matthew Renko
  • Max van der Sterre [19]
  • Pauline Golbin
  • Rachel Piskin
  • Sarah-Rose Williams
  • Saskia Beskow
  • Sophie Flack [19]
  • Tabitha Rinko-Gay
  • Mary Helen Bowers

 


 

References

  1. Jane Philbin Wood (November 1998). “Memories of Ballet Society and choreographer George Balanchine”. Dance Magazine. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  2. Laura Raucher (2008). “Kirstein 100: A Tribute Online Exhibition”. New York City Ballet.Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  3. Martin, John (November 4, 1934). “The Dance: American Ballet in debut; A New Group Emerges From Training for First Public Tour”. The New York Times.
  4. Martin, John (June 28, 1936). “The Dance: A nnew troupe; Group From the American Ballet Organizes Summer Tour”. The New York Times.
  5. Martin, John (May 18, 1941). “The Danse: Bon boyage; American Ballet Caravan Is Revived to Make Extended South American Tour”. The New York Times.
  6. “New Ballet Groupt enters field here; Balanchine Is Artistic Director of Ballet Society, Which Will Open Season on Nov.20”. The New York Times. October 21, 1946.
  7. Martin, John (October 27, 1946). “The Dance: New Ballet; In ‘Three Virgins and a Devil'”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  8. Martin, John (June 27, 1948). “The Dance: City Ballet”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  9. Martin, John (October 12, 1948). “City Ballet Group in First Program; Works by Balanchine Offered by Unit as Series of Dance Performances Begins”. The New York Times.
  10. Dunning, Jennifer (June 11, 1982). “City Ballet opens 8-day celebration of Stravinsky”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  11. Anderson, Jack (April 26, 1984). “City Ballet: A 20-Year Celebration”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  12. Macaulay, Alastair (June 15, 2009). “When the Performers Write the Program”. The New York Times.
  13. Dreyer, Lindsay (June 22, 2009). “New York City Ballet’s Second Annual Dancers’ Choice Benefit Performance”. Dancer Universe Blog.
  14. “Fourth Ring Society”. NYCB. Retrieved April 24, 2011. 
  15. “Fourth Ring Talks”. NYCB. Retrieved April 24, 2011. 
  16. “Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins”. New York City Ballet. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  17. “Dancers By Rank”. New York City Ballet.
  18. “Rebecca Krohn, Interview and article by Pauline Golbin”. New York City Ballet. 2008.Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  19. Wakin, Daniel J (July 22, 2009). “Sudden Finale”. New York Times, Retrieved April 25, 2011.

 

External Links

New York City Ballet – Company founded in 1948 by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein

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