New York City Ballet Company

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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 Kirstein and George Balanchine 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 Arts 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 Robbins, have also created works for it. Its roster of exceptional performers has included Maria Tallchief, Melissa Hayden, André Eglevsky, Todd Bolender, Suzanne Farrell, Edward Villella, and Jacques d'Amboise. 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 Martins 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).

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NEW YORK CITY BALLET, one of the premier American dance companies, founded in 1948 by ballet artisans George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein, and originally known as the Ballet Society. The company's ballets were mostly Balanchine's creations, and he often used company classes at New York's City Center to rehearse a

choreographic technique. The signature costume of the company became black leotards, pink tights, and pink pointe shoes, primarily because of limited finances for costuming. Known for their beautiful and intricate footwork, Balanchine's dancers developed a distinctly American style of dancing, combining Russian, Italian, and French traditions with a unique flair for musicality and extreme emotional control.


Garafola, Lynn, and Eric Foner, eds. Dance for a City. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.


See alsoAmerican Ballet Theatre ; Ballet ; Dance .