22 Mar George Balanchine and Ballet
Even though George Balanchine passed away on April 30, 1983, he still is championed as the “father of American ballet,” and is respected by dancers all over the world. Throughout his lifetime he had designed many dances and gave ballet a fresh modern look, allowing dance to reflect the way people saw the world in the mid-20th century.
Mr. Balanchine was born in Russia in 1904 and spent most of his youth living in St. Petersburg studying dance and music. As a teenager he started to choreograph dances for himself and friends while being part of the State Theatre of Opera and Ballet. On a tour outside of the then renamed Soviet Union he decided not to go back to his home country and instead danced in both Paris and London. He came to America in 1933 and opened the School of American Ballet with the financial backing of Lincoln Kirstein.
After the school was established the two set about starting a company of professional dancers in New York City. The company didn’t gain momentum until 1948. To this day the New York City Ballet is still going strong and Balanchine is still revered amongst dancers and lovers of dance.
His works are often sought after by companies and schools to perform. The Balanchine Trust, established after his death, holds the rights to the repertoire and grants the use of Balanchine’s works. This trust was set up to preserve the name of George Balanchine and the integrity of the dances that were choreographed.
This year the repertoire ISB has been granted will leave the audience with a sense of the man that George Balanchine was and the power that he still holds in the world of ballet. These works ISB is presenting to Central Indiana include pieces from many of Balanchine’s greatest works including Serenade, Emeralds, and Concerto Barocco.
Come see Balanchine Masterworks at The Toby at the Indianapolis Museum of Art on May 21 and 22.