New York City Ballet


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New York City Ballet

(NYCB), one of the foremost American dance companies of the 20th and 21st cents. It was founded by Lincoln KirsteinKirstein, Lincoln
, 1907–96, American dance and theater executive and writer, b. Rochester, N.Y. One of the most significant figures in 20th cent. American ballet, Kirstein was cofounder of the American Ballet and the School of the American Ballet in 1934 and of Ballet
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 and George BalanchineBalanchine, George
, 1904–83, American choreographer and ballet dancer, b. St. Petersburg, Russia, as Georgi Balanchivadze. The son of a Georgian composer and a Russian mother, Balanchine attended (1913–21) the Imperial Ballet School, St.
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 as the Ballet Society in 1946. In 1948 the company took its present name and began regular performances at the New York City Center. It moved to what is now the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing ArtsLincoln Center for the Performing Arts,
in central Manhattan, New York City, between 62d and 66th streets W of Broadway. Lincoln Center is both a complex of buildings and the arts organizations that reside there.
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 in 1964. NYCB's official teaching arm, the School of American Ballet, also is headquartered at Lincoln Center. Since 1966 the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., has been NYCB's summer headquarters. Under Balanchine's direction the company developed a distinctly American style of dancing, combining Italian, French, and Russian traditions with an austere emotional control and flair for musicality. The company's works have ranged from the intensely dramatic Age of Anxiety (1950) and the highly comic Souvenirs (1955) to the formal abstractions of Agon (1958) and the lavish theatricality of A Midsummer Night's Dream (1962). Although Balanchine was most closely identified with the company's development, other outstanding choreographers, including 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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, have also created works for it. NYCB's roster of exceptional performers has included Maria TallchiefTallchief, Maria,
1925–2013, American ballerina, b. Fairfax, Okla., as Elizabeth Marie Tall Chief. Tallchief, of Osage descent, was trained both as a pianist and a dancer.
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, Melissa Hayden, André EglevskyEglevsky, André
, 1917–77, Russian–American dancer; b. Moscow. He trained in France and made his debut (1931) in London. Eglevsky danced (1939–42) with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and was (1951–58) premier danseur with the New York City Ballet.
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, Todd Bolender, 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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, Edward VillellaVillella, Edward,
1936–, American ballet dancer, b. Long Island, N.Y. Villella studied at George Balanchine's School of American Ballet, joining the New York City Ballet in 1957.
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, and Jacques d'Amboised'Amboise, Jacques
, 1934–, American dancer and choreographer, b. Dedham, Mass. One of the finest male dancers of his era, d'Amboise became a soloist with the New York City Ballet in 1953 and did not leave the company until 1984.
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. The company has toured extensively throughout the United States and abroad. Balanchine, who was involved with the company until his death in 1983, was succeeded by Peter MartinsMartins, Peter,
1946–, Danish ballet dancer and choreographer. He studied at the School of the Royal Danish Ballet and performed with its company (1965–69). In 1969 he joined the New York City Ballet, where he danced in numerous ballets, including Chaconne
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 and 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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, who were named co-ballet masters in chief. Upon Robbins's retirement in 1990, Martins was the company's director until he stepped down in 2018. Since the mid-1990s, new outstanding choreographers, principal among them Christopher WheeldonWheeldon, Christopher,
1973–, British ballet dancer and choreographer, studied Royal Ballet School, London. An outstanding contemporary classicist, Wheeldon creates dances that are lyrical, witty, sensual, and innovative.
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, Alexei RatmanskyRatmansky, Alexei,
1968–, Russian ballet dancer and choreographer, b. Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). He studied with Bolshoi Ballet school (1978–86), and in the mid-1990s moved first to Canada, where he danced with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and then to Denmark and
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, and Justin PeckPeck, Justin,
1987–, American ballet dancer and choreographer, b. Washington, D.C. He trained at New York City Ballet's School of American Ballet, where he was influenced by the choreography of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.
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, have emerged to create dances for NYCB.

Bibliography

See study by L. Kirstein (1973, rev. ed. 1978); L. Garafola, ed., Dance for a City (1999).

References in periodicals archive ?
After leaving the New York City Ballet, Hayden went to teach at the North Carolina School of the Arts in 1983 and was teaching until a month ago.
Two years later he studied with the New York City Ballet, and Martins offered him a dancer's contract on the spot.
She would take me to New York City to watch New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre.
New York City Ballet is blessed with ballerinas of the caliber of Sylve and Whelan and with a fine repertory stock.
Brazilian-born Carlo Korbes thrilled New York City Ballet audiences when she leaped into the spotlight soon after joining the company's corps de ballet in 2000.
New York City Ballet dancer Antonio Carmena has also taken Boos' class.
"Very few mainstream companies are going to say, 'Hey, let's give this black girl a chance; let's make her a ballerina,'" says Long, who was in the New York City Ballet corps for nine years before joining DTH.
NEW YORK CITY BALLET NEW YORK STATE THEATER, NEW YORK, NY JANUARY 4-FFBRUARY 27, 2005
Jock Soto, whose final performance with New York City Ballet is June 19th, has danced myriad roles since joining the company in 1981.
Earlier, New York City Ballet's Arthur Mitchell was the first-and almost the last--black principal in an American company.
The dance community is paying mare attention, with companies like New York City Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre providing cross-training, pre-season screenings, and educational seminars to reduce injuries.

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