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George Balanchine for The Ballet Society

Essay Topic:

– In 1946 Balanchine and Kirstein collaborated again to form Ballet Society, a company which introduced New York subscription only audiences over the next two years to such new Balanchine works as The Four Temperaments (1946) and Stravinsky’s Renard (1947) and Orpheus (1948).

– On October 11, 1948, Morton Baum, chairman of the City Center finance committee, saw Ballet Society in a City Center Theater program that included Orpheus, Serenade, and Symphony in C (a ballet which Balanchine had created for the Paris Opera Ballet under the title Le Palais de Crystal the previous year)

George Balanchine for New York City Ballet

– Baum was so highly impressed, that he initiated negotiations that led to the company’s being invited to join the City Centre municipal complex (of which at the time the New York City Drama Company and the New York City Opera were a part) as the “New York City


– On October 11, 1948, the New York City Ballet was born, dancing a program consisting of Concerto Barocco, Orpheus and Symphony In C (a ballet which Balanchine had created for the Paris Opera Ballet under the title Le Palais de Cristal the previous year).

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– From that time until his death, Balanchine served as artistic director for the New York City Ballet, choreographing (either wholly or in part) the majority of the productions the company has introduced since its inception

– Among them were Firebird (1949; restaged with Jerome Robbins, 1970); Bouree Fantasque (1949); La Valse (1951); The Nutcracker (his first full-length work for the Company), Ivesiana and Western Symphony, (1954)

– In June 1972, Balanchine staged the New York City Ballet’s first festival, an intensive one-week celebration of the music of his longtime friend and collaborator, Igor Stravinsky.

– Of the 20 works that received their world premieres during the Festival, he choreographed eight: Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Duo Concertant, Choral Variations (on Bach’s “Vom Himmel Hoch,” Scherzo A La Russe, Symphony in Three Movements, Divertimento from “Le Baiser De La Fee,” and new versions of Pulcinella (with Robbins) and Danses Concertantes.

– Till today his company, the New York City Ballet, is the leading dance group of the United States and one of the greatest companies in the world

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