New York City Ballet

All Balanchine

TuesdayJuly 178:00 PM

Program

Square Dance (Vivaldi, Corelli/Balanchine)
The Four Temperaments (Hindemith/Balanchine)
Symphony in C (Bizet/Balanchine)

Program Notes

Known for his love of all things American, Balanchine joined the traditions of American folk dance with classical ballet in his work SQUARE DANCE.  Highlighting the dance forms’ common roots and similar regard for orderliness, the work is set to music from 17th-century Italian composers Antonio Vivaldi and Arcangelo Corelli.

Featuring a Balanchine-commissioned score by Paul Hindemith, THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS is classically grounded but with definitively modern movement.  Performed at the first night of NYCB’s predecessor, Ballet Society, on November 20, 1946, The Four Temperaments had its NYCB premiere on October 25, 1948.

Originally created for the Paris Opera Ballet, Balanchine’s SYMPHONY IN C sparkles with over 50 dancers in costumes covered in Swarovski elements featuring a spectacular finale with the full cast onstage. In 2012 Symphony in C returned to the NYCB repertory in a major revival with new costumes designed by Marc Happel, NYCB’s Director of Costumes, and lighting designed by Mark Stanley.

About New York City Ballet

New York City Ballet is one of the foremost dance companies in the world, with a roster of spectacular dancers and an unparalleled repertory. The Company was founded in 1948 by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein, and it quickly became world-renowned for its athletic and contemporary style. Jerome Robbins joined NYCB the following year and, with Balanchine, helped to build the astounding repertory and firmly establish the Company in New York.

New York City Ballet owes its existence to Lincoln Kirstein, who envisioned an American ballet where young dancers could be trained and schooled under the guidance of the greatest ballet masters. When he met George Balanchine in London in 1933, Kirstein knew he had found the right person for his dream. Balanchine traveled to America at Kirstein’s invitation, and in 1934 the two men opened the School of American Ballet, where Balanchine trained dancers in an innovative style and technique that matched his idea of a new, unmannered classicism.

In 1946 Kirstein and Balanchine formed Ballet Society and presented their new company at New York’s City Center of Music and Drama, which had been founded by Fiorello H. LaGuardia, Newbold Morris, and Morton Baum. After seeing a Ballet Society performance, Baum invited Balanchine and Kirstein’s fledgling company to officially join City Center. On October 11, 1948, New York City Ballet was born with a performance that featured Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, Orpheus, and Symphony in C.

Balanchine served as Ballet Master of New York City Ballet from its inception until his death, in 1983, choreographing countless works and creating a company of dancers known for their linear purity, sharpness of attack, and overall speed and musicality. In 1949, Jerome Robbins joined the Company as associate director and, with Balanchine, created a varied repertory that grew each season. In 1964 NYCB moved into its current home at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater (formerly the New York State Theater), where it currently is on stage 21 weeks of the year. Each December, the Company presents George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, which has been performed every year since its premiere in 1954. In 1966, New York City Ballet performed at the opening ceremony for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, in upstate New York; the Company has had a residency there every summer since. NYCB also tours regularly, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Following Balanchine’s death, in 1983, Jerome Robbins and Peter Martins were named Co-Ballet Masters in Chief, and from 1990 until he retired in 2017, Mr. Martins assumed sole responsibility for the Company’s artistic direction. In 2009 Katherine Brown was named NYCB’s first-ever Executive Director, a position created to oversee the administrative management of the Company. In 2015, Andrew Litton became the Company’s sixth Music Director. In December of 2017, an interim artistic management team led by NYCB Ballet Master and former Principal Dancer Jonathan Stafford was appointed to oversee the day-to-day artistic management of the Company. Joining Stafford on the interim team are NYCB Resident Choreographer and Soloist Justin Peck, as well as Ballet Masters Craig Hall and Rebecca Krohn. Widely acknowledged for its enduring contributions to dance, NYCB is committed to promoting creative excellence and nurturing a new generation of dancers and choreographers.

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