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
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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 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.
..... Click the link for more information. , have also created works for it. Its 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.
..... Click the link for more information. , 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.
..... Click the link for more information. , 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.
..... Click the link for more information. , 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.
..... Click the link for more information. , 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.
..... Click the link for more information. . The company has toured extensively throughout the United States and abroad. Balanchine, who was involved with the company up 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
..... Click the link for more information. and (until 1990) Jerome Robbins, who were named co-ballet masters in chief.
See study by L. Kirstein (1973, rev. ed. 1978); L. Garafola, ed., Dance for a City (1999).