Timeline of American Ballet in the 20th Century.
By 1900 the classic ballet of Marius Petipa was in crisis. Soon a movement for choreographic reform was underway in Russia. It was led by Michel Fokine, first choreographer for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, and continued by Vaslav Nijinisky and others. In America it was promoted by the many Russians who toured and settled here after the 1917 revolution. By 1940, when Ballet Theatre gave its first performances, a pool of native talent existed, along with the beginnings of an American repertory. With the founding of George Balanchine's New York City Ballet New York City Ballet, one of the foremost American dance companies of the 20th cent. It was founded by Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine as the Ballet Society in 1946. in 1948, modernism and neoclassicism neoclassicism: see classicism. became the defining traits of American ballet at midcentury. During the "ballet boom" of the 1960s and 1970s, the art flourished. Soviet defectors became instant superstars; there were glamorous partnerships and--for the first time--federal dollars. The number of companies grew exponentially, and New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. became a mecca for troupes from abroad. Postmodern choreographers shook up the repertory; revivals augmented it. Meanwhile, increasing numbers of Americans found work abroad. Today, as newcomers from Russia and the Spanish-speaking world thrill American audiences, a new generation of artistic directors stands at the helm, guiding their companies into the new millennium.
* Marius Petipa (1818-1910), choreographer of Sleeping Beauty Sleeping Beauty
sleeps for 100 years. [Fr. Fairy Tale, The Sleeping Beauty]
See : Enchantment
enchanted heroine awakened from century of slumber by prince’s kiss. (1890), Swan Lake (1895, with Lev lev-,
pref See levo-. Ivanov), and Raymonda (1898).
* Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950) shocks Pads in 1912 with his innovative and explicit L'Aprbsmidi d'un Faune for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. He becomes the most famous male dancer in the world and an icon for generations to come.
* Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) unveils California Poppy California poppy: see poppy.
Annual garden plant (Eschscholzia californica) in the poppy family, native to the western coast of North America and naturalized in parts of southern Europe, Asia, and Australia. in San Francisco in 1915 and becomes the embodiment of ballet in America.
* Diaghilev's Ballets Russes holds its first Pads season at the Theatre du Chatelet in 1909.
* Dance Magazine is founded in 1927. It becomes the most influential publication in the field, and by century's end, the oldest arts magazine in America.
* Philadelphia Ballet premieres Sleeping Beauty in 1937, choreographed by company founder Catherine Littlefield (1905-51).
* Eugene Loring (1914-82) choreographs and stars in Billy the Kid for Lincoln Kirstein's Ballet Caravan (1938), the first work on an American theme to remain in the repertory of many ballet companies.
* Dorothy Alexander (1904-86) in 1929 forms the concert group that becomes Atlanta Ballet.
* Adolph Bolm (1884-51), a partner of Pavlova and choreographer of Krazy Kat (1922), forms San Francisco Opera San Francisco Opera (SFO) is the second largest opera company in North America. It was founded in 1923 by Gaetano Merola (1881-1953). The Opening Night Gala of the San Francisco Opera is widely considered to be one of the most memorable events of the year for opera patrons. Ballet in 1933. Willam Christensen joins company as ballet master in 1938 and produces first U.S. versions of Coppglia, Nutcracker, and Swan Lake. Brothers Lew (1909-84) and Harold (1904-89) later join him to direct, respectively, the company and its school.
* George Balanchine (1904-83) arrives in New York City in 1933 at the invitation of Lincoln Kirstein (1907-96); next year he choreographs Serenade serenade [Ital. sera=evening], term used to designate several types of musical composition. Opera and song literature yield numerous examples of the serenade sung or played by a lover at night beneath his beloved's window; outstanding is , his first U.S. ballet.
* Ballets Russes spinoffs after Diaghilev's death in 1929 included the popular Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo
Ballet company formed in Monte Carlo in 1932. The name derived from Sergey Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, which dissolved after his death in 1929. Under René Blum and Col. W. . Its American tours from 1938 to 1961 create a national audience for dance with such stars as Alexandra Danilova (1903-97) and Frederic Franklin (shown here in Nutcracker Pas de Deux pas de deux
(French; “step for two”)
Dance for two performers. A characteristic part of classical ballet, it includes an adagio, or slow dance, by the ballerina and her partner; solo variations by the male dancer and then the ballerina; and a coda, or ).
* In 1942 Ballet Theatre premieres Pillar of Fire by Antony Tudor (1908-87), starting Nora Kaye (1920-87), shown above with Tudor; his repertory becomes a cornerstone of the company.
* In 1942 Agnes de Mille Noun 1. Agnes de Mille - United States dancer and choreographer who introduced formal dance to a wide audience (1905-1993)
Agnes George de Mille, de Mille (1909-93) creates Rodeo for Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, dancing the Cowgirl; next year she choreographs Broadway's first "dream ballet" for Oklahoma!
* Ruth Page (1900-91) choreographs Frankie and Johnny with Bentley Stone (1908-84) in 1938 for the Page-Stone Ballet Company; her many tours with her various companies, including Chicago Opera Ballet (1955), make her a vital force in American dance.
* Ballet (later American Ballet) Theatre gives its first season in 1940 with Patricia Bowman as ballerina (with Nina Stroganova, left).
* 1964 The National Association for Regional Ballet is chartered, giving rise to one of the most important movements in American dance.
* Margot Fonteyn (1919-91) dances Aurora in Sadler's Wells (later Royal) Ballet's Sleeping Beauty when the U.S. impresario Sol Hurok imports the London company for a triumphant debut in New York City in 1949.
* Balanchine and Kirstein found New York City Ballet in 1948 with Manhattan's City Center as home base. In 1949, Maria Tallchief stars in Firebird, the work that gains her international stardom and gives NYCB NYCB New York City Ballet
NYCB New York Community Bank its first box-office hit.
* 1959 The Ford Foundation establishes a national ballet scholarship program; controversial grants to ballet companies in the mid-1960s draw protest from modern dance advocates.
* In 1944, Jerome Robbins (1918-98) begins his dual career as a successful choreographer for ballet and Broadway with Fancy Free for Ballet Theatre (Robbins is at center, above); a musical adaptation, On the Town, follows within months.
* Maya Plisetskaya (left, in Swan Lake) and Galina Ulanova (in The Dying Swan) are among the stars of the Bolshoi Ballet when Hurok presents the Moscow company in its first U.S. season in 1959. Two years later he brings over the Kirov Ballet.
* In 1954, Robert Joffrey (1930-88) starts Robert Joffrey Theater Ballet; by 1956 the company was touring the U.S. in a station wagon (Joffrey is seated at left and Gerald Arpino is kneeling at right).
* Jacob's Pillow introduces the U.S. to the Bournonville style in 1955 by presenting a touring troupe drawn from the Royal Danish Ballet Royal Danish Ballet, one of the oldest major ballet companies, established at the opening of Denmark's Royal Theater in Copenhagen in 1748. The company was developed over the centuries by three great masters. .
* 1965 National Endowment for the Arts National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
Independent agency of the U.S. government that supports the creation, dissemination, and performance of the arts. It was created by the U.S. is established and begins providing vital assistance to American dance.
* Defections of great Soviet dancers invigorate in·vig·or·ate
tr.v. in·vig·or·at·ed, in·vig·or·at·ing, in·vig·or·ates
To impart vigor, strength, or vitality to; animate: "A few whiffs of the raw, strong scent of phlox invigorated her" Western classical ballet: (from left) Rudolf Nureyev (1938-95), who defects in 1961; Natalia Makarova, in 1971; and Mikhail Baryshnikov, in 1974. All were members of the Kirov Ballet.
* Former NYCB star Arthur Mitchell, first African American African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. to become a principal dancer with a major U.S. company, founds Dance Theatre of Harlem Dance Theatre of Harlem, the first black classical ballet company. The group was founded in Harlem, New York City, by Arthur Mitchell, then of the New York City Ballet, the first black principal dancer of a classical company of international standing. in 1969 with Karel Shook (1920-85) to create greater opportunities for blacks in ballet.
* Twyla Tharp begins choreographing for ballet companies in 1973, when she made Deuce Coupe for the Joffrey; her crossover work for ABT ABT About
ABT Abteilung (German: Department)
ABT Abbott Laboratories (stock symbol)
ABT American Ballet Theatre
ABT Associação Brasileira de Telemarketing
ABT Availability Based Tariff begins with Push Comes
* Balanchine dies in 1983; the Balanchine Trust, organized and directed by Barbara Horgan, becomes the major model for preserving a master's work.
* 1976 Public Broadcasting System airs its first Dance in America program, vastly increasing dance audiences.
* From the 1960s to the 1980s, legendary partnerships are formed. Among the more famous are (from left): Carla Fracci and Erik Bruhn (1928-86), in Giselle at American Ballet Theatre American Ballet Theatre, one of the foremost international dance companies of the 20th cent. It was founded in 1937 as the Mordkin Ballet and reorganized as the Ballet Theatre in 1940 under the direction of Lucia Chase and Rich Pleasant. ; Margot Fonteyn and Nureyev, in Ashton's Marguerite and Armand at the Royal Ballet; Peter Martins and Suzanne Farrell, in Robbins's Afternoon of a Faun L'après-midi d'un faune (or The Afternoon of a Faun) may refer to the following:
* Joffrey Ballet becomes a City Center resident company in 1966 and begins reviving 20th-century classics by Massine, Jooss, Fokine, and Ashton (his Les Patineurs is below).
* 1991 Soviet Union collapses and a flood of Russian-trained dancers moves to the U.S., greatly affecting professional regional dance.
* 1987 First "Dancing for Life" benefit raises money to fight AIDS.
* Carlos Acosta embodies the virtuosity of today's growing contingent of Latin male dancers with international careers.
* Julio Bocca's impassioned cavaliers for ABT during the 1990s put Argentina on the U.S. dance map.
* Nina Ananiashvili exemplifies the new international Russian ballerina who commutes between Moscow, London, Houston, and New York City.
* Prominent among the American dancers and choreographers who first became famous abroad were (from left): Glen Tefley, shown in his Pierrot Lunaire (1962); John Neumeier, artistic director of Hamburg Ballet; Richard Cragun, who formed a distinguished partnership with Marcia Haydee at Stuttgart Ballet; and former Joffrey dancer William Forsythe, now artistic director of Frankfurt Ballet, whose works are in the repertories of companies worldwide.