Martins, Peter

Martins, Peter,

1946–, Danish ballet dancer and choreographer. He studied at the School of the Royal Danish BalletRoyal Danish Ballet,
one of the oldest major ballet companies, established at the opening of Denmark's Royal Theater in Copenhagen in 1748. Its ballet school, which trains the group's dancers, has also operated since the 18th cent.
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 and performed with its company (1965–69). In 1969 he joined the New York City BalletNew York City Ballet
(NYCB), one of the foremost American dance companies of the 20th and 21st cents. It was founded by Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine as the Ballet Society in 1946.
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, where he danced in numerous ballets, including Chaconne and Vienna Waltzes, often partnering Suzanne FarrellFarrell, Suzanne
, 1945–, American ballet dancer, b. Cincinnati, Ohio, as Roberta Sue Ficker. After studying in her hometown and at the School of American Ballet, she joined the New York City Ballet.
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. Martins' choreographed works include Calcium Light Night (1977), Five Easy Pieces (1980), Les Gentilhommes (1987), A Musical Offering (1991), Symphonic Dances (1994), and Distant Light (2004). In 1983 Martins retired from dancing and with Jerome RobbinsRobbins, Jerome,
1918–98, American choreographer and dancer, b. New York City as Jerome Wilson Rabinowitz. Robbins began his career dancing in musicals (1937). In 1940 he joined the Ballet Theatre and in 1948 became associate artistic director of the New York City Ballet.
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 became co-ballet master in chief of the company, a position Martins occupied alone after the Robbins' retirement in 1989. Martins retired (2018) after accusations in 2017 of abusive behavior and sexual harassment.


See his autobiography (with R. Cornfield), Far from Denmark (1982).

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Martins, Peter

(1946–  ) ballet dancer, choreographer; born in Copenhagen, Denmark. He trained at the School of the Royal Danish Ballet, and performed in its company (1965–69) before joining the New York City Ballet (1970). Key roles and a celebrated partnership with Suzanne Farrell propelled him to prominence as a dancer. He began choreographing with Calcium Light Night (1977); in 1983 he was appointed co-ballet master-in-chief with Jerome Robbins and retired from dancing. He became the sole master-in-chief in 1990. He choreographed several pieces a year, such as Songs of the Auvergne (1986). In 1993 he restaged Sleeping Beauty after Petipa and produced a much-acclaimed retrospective of George Balanchine's works.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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Among players present were Oba Martins, Peter Ramage, Giuseppe Rossi and Olivier Bernard.