Pre-NYCB     1948 - 1959     1960 - 1969     1970 - 1979     1980 - 1989     1990 - 1999     2000 - 2009


Ebony Concerto
Ebony Concerto
Choreography by John Taras
Photograph © J Siegelman
Courtesy of the New York Public Library
of the Performing Arts

Danish dancer Erik Bruhn first appears as Guest Artist, which he continues to do for two seasons.

Balanchine's The Figure in the Carpet premieres in May and is performed in honor of the Fourth International Congress of Iranian Art and Archeology.

Balanchine's Liebeslieder Walzer premieres in November.

In November, John Taras choreographs Ebony Concerto, which premieres in November with three other ballets in the four-part program Jazz Concert. It is his first ballet for the Company.

A series of free Saturday matinees is inaugurated by Balanchine for New York City's public school children. Sponsored by Ballet Society, they take place at City Center during regular seasons.


United States tours include first visits to Ohio and North Carolina.

New York City Ballet makes its Canadian debut as part of the Vancouver International Festival.

The newly created New York State Council on the Arts awards its first grant to a performing arts organization in support of the Company's appearance at the Empire State Festival at Bear Mountain.

Patricia McBride and Conrad Ludlow are promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer

Melissa Hayden and Conrad Ludlow in
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Photograph courtesy of Time Life Archives


The New York State Council on the Arts sponsors the first Company tour in upstate New York, where it also presents lecture-demonstrations in 12 cities. Balanchine then establishes ongoing programs of lecture-demonstrations for New York City public schools.

Balanchine and a number of NYCB dancers travel to Hamburg, West Germany, for a celebration of Stravinsky's 80th birthday. Members also appear in Noah and the Flood, a dance-drama by Balanchine and Stravinsky created especially for television.

Arthur Mitchell is promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer.

New York City Ballet dances in the summer at the Seattle World's Fair.

In the fall, the Company makes a tour of Hamburg, Berlin, Zurich, Stuttgart, Cologne, Frankfurt, Vienna, and later, Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Tbilisi, and Baku. The trip marks Balanchine's first return to his native Russia since his departure in 1924.

The production of A Midsummer Night's Dream is the first original full-length ballet by Balanchine. Its premiere is also the occasion for the first annual gala to benefit the New York City Ballet.


New York City Ballet establishes its own costume shop under the direction of Karinska.

The Company participates in the Kennedy Administration's Second Anniversary Inaugural Salute in Washington, D.C.

In July the Company appears at the Long Island Festival of the Arts.

Jacques d'Amboise choreographs his first ballet, The Chase (or, The Vixen's Choice), which premieres in September.

André Prokovsky joins the Company as Principal Dancer.

The Ford Foundation, through its Humanities and the Arts program headed by W. McNeil Lowry, awards the Company a grant of $2,500,000, to be paid over a 10-year period. The School of American Ballet is awarded $2,425,000 for an equal term. Grants are given to seven recipients; it is the largest sum ever dedicated to dance from a single source.


New York State Theater

January 26 marks the last performance of New York City Ballet at City Center.

On April 24, the Company dances at the gala opening of the New York State Theater, which is to be its new home. Built by Lincoln Center for the State of New York in time for participation in the 1964 New York World's Fair, the theater is to become the property of New York City at the fair's closing in 1966. According to terms of an enabling act of the New York State Legislature, the City is then to lease the theater to City Center of Music & Drama thereby fulfilling the acts specification of occupancy by a popularly priced non-profit organization offering a variety of cultural presentations. The City pledges to provide ongoing support for the new facility. Throughout the World's Fair, the New York City Ballet shares the theater with the Music Theater of Lincoln Center founded by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Architect Philip Johnson worked closely with Kirstein on the unique public spaces and with Balanchine on meeting the stage requirements of dance, including the development of a plan to build a stage floor of unusual resilience.

Company Principals
NYCB principal dancers Playbill page
Courtesy of Christopher Soule

Balanchine's The Nutcracker is redesigned by Rouben Ter-Arutunian to fit the much larger stage. It is the first of a number of such readjustments.

New York City Ballet is now comprised of 66 dancers. Lincoln Kirstein is General Director, Balanchine and John Taras are Ballet Masters, Betty Cage is General Manager, Ronald Bates is Production Stage Manager, Robert Irving is Music Director and Principal Conductor, and Hugo Fiorato is Associate Conductor. Principal Dancers are Jacques d'Amboise, Melissa Hayden, Jillana, Allegra Kent, Conrad Ludlow, Nicholas Magallanes, Patricia McBride, Arthur Mitchell, Francisco Moncion, André Prokovsky, Maria Tallchief, Violette Verdy, Edward Villella, and Patricia Wilde.


In February and March, the Company makes a southwestern United States tour: Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Bloomington, St. Louis, and Urbana.

Balanchine creates the full-length Don Quixote, which premieres in May. He dances the title role in the Company's gala preview and in several performances thereafter.

Suzanne Farrell is promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer.

A tour of Europe and the Middle East takes the Company to Paris, Milan, Spoleto (Festival of Two Worlds), Venice, Dubrovnik, Athens, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Salzburg (Salzburg Festival), Amsterdam, and London from June to September.


The City Center of Music & Drama, of which New York City Ballet continues to be a part, assumes the lease for the New York State Theater. The theater is now to be the official home of New York City Ballet and New York City Opera. The introduction of a subscription plan significantly increases regular audience attendance.

As a constituent of Lincoln Center, City Center joins the Lincoln Center Student Program, through which the Company continues its public service programs in city schools.

On July 8, the Company makes its debut at the new Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York. Built in consultation with Balanchine and Ronald Bates, it is to be a permanent home during July of each year. The opening performance is A Midsummer Night's Dream.

The Company pays its first visits to Newark, Montreal, and Toronto.

Merce Cunningham, who had previously done choreography for Ballet Society, restages his Summerspace, earlier made for his own company.

Mimi Paul and Anthony Blum are promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer.

Under Balanchine's direction and supervision, the Company films A Midsummer Night's Dream, the first full-length ballet movie made in the United States.

Peter Martins
Photo © Paul Kolnik


In April, Balanchine's three-part, full-length ballet Jewels premieres.

American tours include a first appearance at the new Merriweather Post Pavilion of Music in Columbia, Maryland.

During the Company's return engagement at the Edinburgh Festival. Peter Martins dances as a Guest Artist in Apollo.


Beginning this year, the Company presents a regular spring season at the New York State Theater, running from April or May to June or early July. The standard year is to contain a 14-week winter season, with four weeks of Balanchine's The Nutcracker, and a nine-week spring season.

Requiem Canticles, with music by Stravinsky, is staged by Balanchine for one performance in memory of Martin Luther King Jr.


Kay Mazzo in Don Quixote
Photo uncredited
Courtesy of New York City Ballet
Archives, Ballet Society Collection

As part of Monte Carlo's Diaghilev Festival, commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the founding of his Ballets Russes, the Company dances Balanchine's Apollo and Prodigal Son.

Robbins returns to the Company after a 12-year absence, assuming the title of Ballet Master, which he shares with Balanchine and Taras. He creates Dances at a Gathering, which premieres in May.

Kay Mazzo and Suki Schorer are promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer.

The National Endowment for the Arts Dance Program makes its first grant to New York City Ballet.