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Silja Schandorff, a Principal Dancer with the Royal Danish Ballet, performs Swan Lake with the Company as a Guest Artist for several performances.
During the Winter Season, the Company announces the start of The Campaign for New York City Ballet. With a goal of $50 million, it is the largest endowment campaign in dance history.
Photo © Paul Kolnik
Twyla Tharp creates The Beethoven Seventh, and Mercurial Manoeuvres by Wheeldon takes to the stage for the first time.
Jenifer Ringer is elevated to the rank of Principal Dancer.
The 2000 Diamond Project features eight new works in the Spring Season.
Andrea Quinn is appointed Music Director of New York City Ballet.
The Company's summer tour takes it to Scotland's Edinburgh Festival and Japan.
Svetlana Zakharova and Igor Zelensky, Principal Dancers at Russia's Kirov Ballet, dance as Guest Artists in performances of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™.
Jennie Somogyi is promoted to Principal Dancer in December.
Tanaquil Le Clercq, a longtime NYCB Principal Dancer and former wife of Balanchine, dies on December 31, 2000.
Photo © Paul Kolnik
Polyphonia by Wheeldon debuts in January.
March sees the nationwide and international release of the New York City Ballet Workout in video and DVD format.
A memorial service is held honoring Tanaquil Le Clercq at the New York State Theater in May.
In May, Christopher Wheeldon is named Resident Choreographer.
Highlights of the 2001 Spring Gala are the premieres of Martins' Morgen and Wheeldon's Variations Sérieuses.
Soirée by Tanner debuts as part of the Spring 2001 Season.
In August and September, NYCB tours Europe for performances at the Edinburgh Festival, in Athens and, as part of the Verdi Centennial celebrations, in Parma, Italy.
In November, the Company dances a special performance for families of victims of the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attack.
In January, NYCB performs the New York premiere of Martins' Hallelujah Junction with Guest Artists Gitte Lindstrom and Andrew Bowman from the Royal Danish Ballet.
For the first time, the Company names six designers as Artists-in-Residence. Catherine Barinas, Rebecca Baygents-Turk, Tom Gold, Julius Lumsden, Alysia Raycraft, and Emilio Sosa will spend a year at NYCB working on and exploring costume design for the dance.
2002 Diamond Project
The Spring 2002 Season marks the 10th Anniversary of the Diamond Project and is the occasion for eight world premiere ballets by Melissa Barak, Stephen Baynes, Mauro Bigonzetti, Albert Evans, Mahdaviani, Martins and Wheeldon.
NYCB Principal Dancer Helene Alexopoulos retires in May 2002.
May 30th is the occasion of an all-Diamond Project national PBS broadcast as part of the Live from Lincoln Center series.
May 2002 sees the promotions of James Fayette, Benjamin Millepied, and Sébastien Marcovici to the rank of Principal Dancer.
During the fall, Principal Dancer Robert La Fosse ends his 16-year tenure with the Company. He continues to appear with NYCB on an ongoing basis as a Guest Artist.
The November 26 Opening Night Gala Performance is a centennial tribute to composer Richard Rodgers. The program includes three world premiere ballets, all set to Rodgers' music: Land of Nod (La Fosse), Carousel (A Dance) (Wheeldon), and Thou Swell (Martins). Bernadette Peters appears as a surprise guest artist in the final movement of Thou Swell.
In December, Robert Tewsley joins the roster as a Principal Dancer.
Sofiane Sylve of Het Nationale Ballet dances her first performance as a 2003-2004 Winter Season Guest Artist as the Sugarplum Fairy in a December performance of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™.
Guest Artist Sofiane Sylve performs a number of repertory ballets throughout January and February, including Kammermusik No. 2, Western Symphony and Serenade (Balanchine).
After 27 years with the Company, Soloist Kipling Houston retires on January 8.
The May 14 Spring Gala unveils two new works. The benefit audience witnesses a preview performance of Peter Martins' Guide to Strange Places, which is set to a John Adams' score of the same title, and the world premiere performance of Christopher
Wheeldon's Carnival of the Animals. Mr. Adams conducts the first and second performances of Martins' new work. Narration for Carnival of the Animals was written by John Lithgow, who both narrates and performs in the ballet's first performances.
In May, Alexandra Ansanelli is named a Principal Dancer.
Liturgy, a new pas de deux for Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto, set to the music of Arvo Part and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, has its world premiere on May 31. The work receives two more performances as part of the Spring 2003 season.
Poster 2003 Russian Tour
Photo © New York City Ballet
On June 27, the Company holds a press conference on the Promenade of the New York State Theater to announce plans for a year-long celebration of the centennial of George Balanchine's birth during the 2003-2004 performance seasons.
On July 29, NYCB begins a week-long visit to St. Petersburg's Maryinsky Theatre with an All-Balanchine program. Maestro Valery Gergiev is on the podium for the start of opening night.
From September 2-7, the Company makes its seventh visit to Copenhagen when it performs at the Tivoli Concert Hall.
In fall 2003, Sofiane Sylve returns to NYCB as a Principal Dancer. Ms. Sylve first danced with the Company as a Guest Artist in the 2002-2003 Winter Season.
Opening Night of Balanchine 100: The Centennial Celebration is November 25. The Company performs Serenade, Symphony in C and gives the sole performance of Bugaku for the 2003-2004 year. The program ends with a glittering confetti shower in honor of the Balanchine Centenary.
In 2004, NYCB welcomes two young conductors, Carolyn Chi-An Kuan and Daniel Alfred Wachs, to the Company's Artists in Residence program. They will observe and work with the music staff throughout the Balanchine 100: Centennial Celebration seasons.
Principal Dancers Gudrun Bojesen and Thomas Lund of the Royal Danish Ballet are the first guest artists of Balanchine 100: The Centennial Celebration when they join NYCB for a performance of Flower Festival in Genzano pas de deux on January 11.
Balanchine's 100 Birthday
Photo © Paul Kolnik
On January 22, 2004, a sold-out audience fills the New York State Theater as NYCB dances Serenade, Apollo and Prodigal Son in honor of George Balanchine’s 100th birthday. The evening’s celebration concludes as members of the Company join Peter Martins, Barbara Horgan, Trustee & General Director of The George Balanchine Trust, and a giant cake on stage for a toast as balloons and confetti rain down from above as the NYCB Orchestra plays “Happy Birthday.”
January 23 marks the world premiere of Susan Stroman’s first, evening-long ballet, Double Feature. Comprised of two acts, The Blue Necklace is set to the music of Irving Berlin and Makin’ Whoopee features the music of Walter Donaldson. The work, requiring nearly 60 dancers, represents the second time that Susan Stroman has created a ballet on NYCB.
Royal Danish Ballet Principal Dancer Caroline Cavallo debuts with NYCB on January 29 as Odette/Odile in Martins’ Swan Lake and performs the ballet again on February 1. Ms. Cavallo dances one performance of Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 on January 31.
On February 6, NYCB unveils new sets for Jewels created by the ballet's original designer, Peter Harvey.
On March 3, NYCB returns to The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for a week of performances after an absence of 17 years.
As NYCB dances to the music of Hindemith and Brahms in a tribute to German music on May 1, more than 200 NYCB alumni return to the New York State Theater to be part of the Balanchine 100: Centennial Celebration festivities. Many of the dancers who originated roles in the evening's works join Peter Martins on stage before the start of the program.
U.S. Postal Service
George Balanchine is one of four choreographers honored by the U.S. Postal Service which issues stamps recognizing their contributions to American culture. The first-day-of-issue ceremony takes place at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on May 4, where students from the School of American Ballet perform.
On May 5, Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts "Lincoln Center Celebrates Balanchine 100 New York City Ballet's 2004 Spring Gala" on PBS as guest performers from around Lincoln Center join NYCB at the New York State Theater in a salute to the Company's founder. The program is also simulcast to fans on Lincoln Center Plaza, who watch as the program inside unfolds, a first for NYCB. The evening is hosted by Sarah Jessica Parker.
The year's second premiere takes place on May 8 when the curtain rises on Shambards, Christopher Wheeldon's 10th ballet for NYCB and his first to a commissioned score. Composer James MacMillan leads the NYCB Orchestra in the first performance.
On May 18, at NYCB's Italian Tribute evening, the Company honors Principal Conductor Hugo Fiorato with the title Conductor Emeritus. He is the first person to hold this position. Mr. Fiorato joined NYCB in 1948 and had worked previously with Ballet Society, NYCB's precursor. Peter Martins, orchestra members and dancers join the maestro on stage amid a shower of flowers as the audience acknowledges Maestro Fiorato's lifetime of service to NYCB.
On June 2 Peter Martins premieres two new works Chichester Psalms (Bernstein) and Eros Piano (Adams) as part of the Balanchine Centennial American Music Festival. The Juilliard Choral Union appears on stage as an integral element of Chichester Psalms.
New York City Ballet gives the world premiere of Musagète (Bach/Tschaikovsky) on June 18. It is the first ballet to be made on an American ballet company by St. Petersburg-based choreographer Boris Eifman.
Throughout the Balanchine 100 Centennial Spring Season guest artists from around the world perform in the Balanchine repertory. The Company hosts artists from American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, New York City Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet.
George Balanchine's The Nutcracker ™ logo
The Georgian State Dance Company accepts Peter Martins’ invitation to perform three times in the last days of June bringing the Balanchine 100 Celebration to a rousing conclusion on June 27.
In September Kenneth Tabachnick joins NYCB as General Manager.
A Fall tour takes the Company to Tokyo, Japan (September 22-26), Orange County Performing Arts Center (September 29-October 3) and to the Dorothy Chandler Music Center of Los Angeles (October 6-10).
On November 23, 2004, NYCB’s Opening Night Gala Benefit features the U.S. Premiere of Peter Martins’ Octet.
November 26, 2004–January 2, 2005 NYCB celebrates the 50th Anniversary of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™.
On December 17 Peter Boal, who first performed as a “Party Guest” in 1975, while a student of the School of American, debuts as “Herr Drosselmeier.”
A 50th Anniversary performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ on December 30 features 15 NYCB Principal Dancers in a special staging of Act II “The Kingdom of Sweets.”
Todo Buenos Aires
Photo © Paul Kolnik
The Winter 2005 Repertory Season (January 4–February 27) features a new version of Peter Martins’ Todo Buenos Aires with Guest Artist Julio Bocca, which premieres on January 8. January 22, the New Combinations Evening celebrating Balanchine’s birthday, features Martins’ Octet and Wheeldon’s world premiere of After the Rain. Immediately following the performance Ashley Bouder, Megan Fairchild, Janie Taylor, Joaquin De Luz and Stephen Hanna are promoted to Principal Dancer.
NYCB returns to Kennedy Center (March 2-6) for the second consecutive year.
The 2005 Spring Season (April 26–June 26) features the NYCB premiere of Jerome Robbins’ N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz on April 29. The Annual Spring Gala, May 4, presents three World Premieres: Martins’ Tala Gaisma, Albert Evans’ Broken Promise, and Wheeldon’s An American in Paris, as well as two NYCB premieres: Benjamin Millepied’s Double Aria and Edwaard Liang’s Distant Cries.
The Spring season also sees the retirement of two long-time NYCB Principal Dancers, Peter Boal on June 5 and Jock Soto on June 19.
On June 20, the intersection of W. 62nd St. and Columbus Ave. in New York City is christened "Jerome Robbins Place."
Gordon Boelzner, NYCB's Music Adviser, dies on August 17. He joined NYCB as a rehearsal pianist in 1959 and began to accompany performances soon after. Mr. Boelzner became Music Director in 1990. He retired from the post in 1999, when he was named Music Adviser.
On November 11, in Copenhagen, Jared Angle is named a Principal Dancer.
Opening Night on November 22 starts the season with an All-American program.
On December 31, 2005, NYCB brings to a successful conclusion The Campaign for New York City Ballet —the largest capital campaign ever conducted on behalf of a dance company—with the announcement that $58 million in endowment funds has been raised in the past five years.
Klavier, a new work for 10 dancers by Wheeldon, has its world premiere as part of January's New Combinations evening.
Bright Sheng is named the first NYCB Composer in Residence for a tenure of two years during which he will compose two scores among other responsibilities.
Choreography by Peter Martins
Photo © Paul Kolnik
February welcomes Friandises by Peter Martins set to a commissioned score by American composer Christopher Rouse. The score is unusual in that it is commisioned for NYCB and the Juillliard School on the occasion of Juilliard's 100th Anniversary and will receive the attention of a second choreographer, from Juilliard, with those performances taking place later in the year.
In March, NYCB makes a third consecutive tour visit to the Kennedy Center for a week of performances.
Choreography by Eliot Feld
Photo © Paul Kolnik
During the 2006 Spring Season, NYCB devotes two performances to the work of choreographer Eliot Feld. Six of the choreographer’s works are on view including Étoile Polaire, created for the 2006 Diamond Project. Feld is the first choreographer, with the exception of Balanchine and Robbins, to have an entire program devoted to his ballets.
The 2006 Diamond Project features new ballets by Mauro Bigonzetti, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Jorma Elo, Eliot Feld, Peter Martins, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon. It is the first time Elo and Ratmansky have created work for NYCB.
The summer finds the Company in Saratoga Springs for 18 performances which open with the full-length Swan Lake (Martins)
In July, French conductor Fayçal Karoui is named NYCB Music Director. Maestro Karoui first conducted the NYCB Orchestra in January 2006 in a performance of Swan Lake (Martins). He succeeds Andrea Quinn and becomes the Company’s fifth Music Director.
October finds the Company in Chicago for its first visit since 1979. The widely-acclaimed visit to the Harris Theater includes seven performances and opens with a tribute to Maria Tallchief.
On November 21, 2006, NYCB opens its 125th New York season with a gala program that includes the only performance of the year of "Purple" from Martins' Ecstatic Orange and the NYCB premiere of Middle Duet by Alexei Ratmansky, Artistic Director of Russia's Bolshoi Ballet.
With the return of repertory in January 2007, the Company introduces "bloc programming" for the first time with 11 programs that present 38 ballets in a fixed format.
January 27 sees the NYCB premiere of Christopher d'Amboise's Tribute as part of a "Tribute to Kirstein" program. The ballet, set to a score by J.S. Bach, was first presented in 2005 as part of a School of American Ballet Annual Workshop program.
The Company presents a Robbins' revival on February 2 when Dybbuk, with a score of Leonard Bernstein, returns to the stage of the New York State Theater after a long absence.
A highlight of the closing week is the appearance of Maestro Valery Gergiev who conducts the February 23 performance of Circus Polka, Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Jeu de Cartes, and Firebird. It is only the second time that Maestro Gergiev has conducted the NYCB Orchestra.
NYCB returns to the Kennedy Center with a week of A Midsummer Night's Dream performances as part of Kennedy Center's 2007 Shakespeare Festival.
The 2007 Spring Season Kirstein 100: A Tribute celebration begins on April 24. The season is filled with performances, exhibitions, seminars, ticket policies, publications and museum shows that honor the Company's co-founder. Kirstein's actual centennial falls on May 4, 2007.
Gonzalo Garcia joined the Company as a Principal Dancer and Sterling Hyltin, Jonathan Stafford, Daniel Ulbricht, Andrew Veyette were promoted to Principal Dancer.
On April 30, for the first time in NYCB's history, the Company welcomes 2,500 members of the public to a free, open dress rehearsal of a work in process--Peter Martins' Romeo + Juliet.
Romeo + Juliet
Choreography by Peter Martins
Photo © Paul Kolnik
The world premiere of Peter Martins' Romeo + Juliet takes place on May 1, 2007 at the annual Spring Gala before a sold-out audience. The original cast includes NYCB dancers and students and faculty from the School of American Ballet.
On May 4, 2007 at the evening performance of Martins' Romeo + Juliet, the NYCB Orchestra salutes Lincoln Kirstein on the centennary of his birth as it plays "Happy Birthday" and the entire audience joins in an intermission vodka toast to NYCB's co-founder.
June 8 sees the premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's The Nightingale and the Rose. The ballet is inspired by the Oscar Wilde story of the same name and is danced to a commissioned score by Composer in Residence Bright Sheng.
Photo © Paul Kolnik
On June 22, amid a shower of pink flowers, Principal Dancer Kyra Nichols retires from the stage following a 33-year career at New York City Ballet. Her final program includes performances of Serenade, Robert Schumann's "Davidsbündlertänze" and the "Der Rosenkavalier" section of 'Vienna Waltzes. She leaves the Company having served longer than any other NYCB ballerina.
Dancing for Lincoln: A Centennial Celebration is the theme of the 2007-2008 Opening Night Gala on November 20, 2007. The festivities mark the conclusion of New York City Ballet's yearlong commemoration of Kristein's centenary. Program highlights include an excerpt of a film-in-progress by Company members Ellen Bar and Sean Suozzi of Jerome Robbins' N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz, a film tribute to Lincoln Kirstein, a world premiere ballet, Grazioso, by Peter Martins, and A Life for the Tsar--originally choreographed in 1993 for the opening of the Balanchine Celebration which took place on May 4, 1993, the occasion of Kirstein's 86th birthday. The evening concludes with a chorus of Happy Birthday and a gold confetti shower.
Abi Stafford was promoted to Principal Dancer.
December 19 marks NYCB's 2,000th performance of George Balanchine's The NutcrackerTM. The celebratory performance features five Sugarplum Fairies, seven Cavaliers, and three Dewdrops in Act II.
Choreography by Christopher
Photo © Paul Kolnik
Oltremare, the third ballet created by Mauro Bigonzetti on NYCB has its world premeire performance on January 23, 2008. The commissioned score is by Bigonzetti's frequent collaborator, Bruno Moretti. The title translates as "beyond the sea."
February 7 sees the debut of Resident Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's 16th work for the Company, Rococo Variations.
Principal Dancer Nikolaj Hübbe marks his retirement from the stage at the matinee performance of February 10, 2008. The celebration performance includes Apollo, Flower Festival in Genzano pas de deux, Zakouski, "Cool" from West Side Story Suite, and Western Symphony. The program ends with cascades of red, orange and yellow blooms. In 2008 Mr. Hübbe becomes artistic director of the Royal Danish Ballet.
NYCB makes its fifth consecutive return visit to the Kennedy Center .
Choreography by Alexei
Photo © Paul Kolnik
The 2008 Spring Season featuring the Jerome Robbins Celebration marked the 90th Anniversary of the choreographer's birth in 1918 and the 10th Anniversary of his passing. The celebration featured 33 ballets that Robbins created over a span of more than 50 years. Highlights included a historic recreation of his original 1965 staging of Les Noces, Brahms/Handel choreographed by Robbins and Twyla Tharp, Watermill, Other Dances, and Four Bagatelles.
The celebration also included guest artists from American Ballet Theatre and Paris Opera Ballet, and the premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's second ballet created for NYCB, Concerto DSCH, on May 29, 2008.
Sara Mearns was promoted to Principal Dancer in June.
Principal dancer Damian Woetzel retired on June 18, 2008 after 23 years with the Company.
On June 27 NYCB rejuvenated the "Dancers' Emergency Fund" program with a new format entitled "Dancers' Choice." The program was completely created by dancers from NYCB, and featured a new ballet, Flit of Fury/The Monarch, with choreography by Adam Hendrickson and music by Aaron Severini
This Fall's tour took the Company to the Tivoli Theater in Copenhagen, Denmark (September 1 - 6) and to the Opéra Bastille in Paris, France (September 9 - 21).
On Tuesday, November 25, 2008 New York City Ballet’s annual Opening Night Benefit featured an evening of ballets set to American music marking the first performance in the newly named David H. Koch Theater (previously known as the New York State Theater). Home to both New York City Ballet and New York City Opera, the re-naming acknowledges the extraordinary generosity of Mr. Koch, whose support of the joint capital campaign for the theater benefits both companies.
Choreography by Douglas Lee
Photo © Paul Kolnik
January 22 saw the premiere of Douglas Lee’s ballet Lifecasting, his first ballet for NYCB. Melissa Barak’s third ballet for NYCB, A Simple Symphony, had its premiere on February 17.
In March NYCB made it’s sixth consecutive return to the Kennedy Center.
On May 9, NYCB presented a major revival of George Balanchine’s Scotch Symphony, which featured sets designed by Karin von Aroldingen, a former principal dancer and current ballet master with NYCB.
The Annual Spring Gala on May 13 featured two world premiere ballets by European-born principal dancers; Jurí Bubenicek, a Czech citizen who dances with Dresden’s SemperOper Ballet, and Benjamin Millepied, a native of Bordeaux, a longtime member of NYCB. Mr. Bubenícek’s Toccata and Mr. Millepied’s Quasi Una Fantasia were both choreographers’ first works for NYCB.
The 2009 Saratoga season celebrated the 35th anniversary of Coppélia, which premiered at the 1974 SPAC season.
This summer, beginning in June and lasting through October the David H. Koch Theater underwent major renovations. New aisles were added to the orchestra; all new seating was installed; a number of acoustical enhancements including the construction of a new orchestra pit with hydraulics were completed; wheelchair locations were added in the orchestra, first ring, and fourth ring; and new carpeting and wall coverings were installed through the theater. A new audio/visual system was installed, including a complete onsite media suite to capture and distribute high-definition video and digital sound for performances, rehearsals and any other activities taking place in the theater.
Katherine E. Brown
Photo © Paul Kolnik
In early October the Company returned to Tokyo, Japan. On October 27 Tyler Angle, Robert Fairchild, Tiler Peck, Amar Ramasar, and Teresa Reichlen were promoted to principal dancer.
On November 16 Katherine E. Brown was appointed Executive Director of NYCB, a position created to oversee the administrative management of the Company. She assumed the position on December 14.
The November 24 Opening Night Benefit featured a World Premiere by Peter Martins to John Adams’ music, Naïve and Sentimental Music, this was the tenth collaboration between Mr. Martins and Mr. Adams. Guest artists from the Paris Opera Ballet, Étoiles Aurélie Dupont and Mathias Heymann, performed the Rubies pas de deux.