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New York City Ballet (NYCB) is a ballet company founded in 1948 by choreographer George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein with musical director Leon Barzin and with founding choreographers Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. City Ballet grew out of earlier troupes: the Producing Company of the School of American Ballet, 1934; the American Ballet, 1935, and Ballet Caravan, 1936, which merged into American Ballet Caravan, 1941; and directly from the Ballet Society, 1946.


The company was named New York City Ballet when it became resident at City Center of Music and Drama in 1948. Its success was marked by its move to the New York State Theater, now David H.marker Koch Theatermarker, 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 Centermarker's David H.marker Koch Theatermarker on 63rd Street in Manhattanmarker, and another at the Saratoga Performing Arts Centermarker, in Saratoga Springs, New Yorkmarker. 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:

balletmaster in chief

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 Sping 2008 season was a celebration of Jerome Robbins.

Dancers' Choice

Friday, June 27, 2008 the 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:

and excerpts from:

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

Fourth Ring Society and Talks

Fourth Ring Society

City Ballet's "Fourth Ring Society" offers tickets in the balcony (first two rows excluded) at half price, which at the time of writing is $15. "Membership" is open to the public at large and costs $20 per year. Members may buy one or two tickets to any performance at the David H.marker Koch Theatermarker the winter months of January, February and March, and spring, April, May and June (performances of The Nutcracker are not included.)

Fourth Ring Talks

Fourth Ring Talks are also called First Position Discussions and are held before some performances; the docents are volunteers and include laymen as well as former dancers.


Balletmaster in chief

Peter Martins, who first danced with City Ballet in 1967 joined the company as a principal dancer in 1970. In 1981 he 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.



  • Karin von Aroldingen
  • Jean-Pierre Frohlich

Assistant to the balletmaster in chief

Teaching associate

Children's balletmaster


principal dancers

  • Sébastien Marcovici
  • Nilas Martins
  • Sara Mearns
  • Benjamin Millepied
  • Philip Neal
  • Tiler Peck
  • Amar Ramasar
  • Teresa Reichlen

  • Jenifer Ringer
  • Jennie Somogyi
  • Abi Stafford
  • Jonathan Stafford
  • Janie Taylor
  • Daniel Ulbricht
  • Andrew Veyette
  • Wendy Whelan


  • Ellen Bar
  • Antonio Carmena
  • Adrian Danchig-Waring

  • Arch Higgins
  • Rebecca Krohn
  • Ask la Cour

  • Savannah Lowery
  • Kathryn Morgan
  • Rachel Rutherford
  • Ana Sophia Scheller
  • Sean Suozzi

corps de ballet

  • Sara Adams
  • Devin Alberda
  • Marika Anderson
  • Daniel Applebaum
  • Faye Arthurs
  • Callie Bachman
  • Amy Barker
  • Likolani Brown
  • Zachary Catazaro
  • Maya Collins
  • Cameron Dieck
  • Alina Dronova

  • Chase Finlay
  • Kaitlyn Gilliland
  • Sam Greenberg
  • Amanda Hankes
  • Anthony Huxley
  • Ralph Ippolito
  • Russell Janzen
  • Dara Johnson
  • Megan Johnson
  • Glenn Keenan
  • Lauren King
  • Ashley Laracey

  • Austin Laurent
  • Megan LeCrone
  • Meagan Mann
  • Jenelle Manzi
  • Gwyneth Muller
  • Ellen Ostrom
  • Vincent Paradiso
  • Georgina Pazcoguin
  • Justin Peck
  • Allen Peiffer
  • Erica Pereira
  • Brittany Pollack

  • David Prottas
  • Tabitha Rinko-Gay
  • Troy Schumacher
  • Andrew Scordato
  • Kristen Segin
  • Mary Elizabeth Sell
  • Henry Seth
  • Gretchen Smith
  • Joshua Thew
  • Christian Tworzyanski
  • Giovanni Villalobos
  • Lydia Wellington
  • Stephanie Zungre

Former dancers

Former principal dancers

Former soloists

Former corps de ballet

  • Aaron Severini
  • Briana Shepherd
  • Courtney Muscroft

  • Kyle Froman
  • Matthew Renko
  • Max van der Sterre
  • Pauline Golbin

  • Rachel Piskin
  • Sarah-Rose Williams
  • Saskia Beskow
  • Sophie Flack

See also


External links

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