1970-1979

Pre-NYCB     1948 - 1959     1960 - 1969     1970 - 1979     1980 - 1989     1990 - 1999     2000 - 2009     2010 - Present

1970

Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Peter Martins, and Helgi Tomasson join the Company as Principal Dancers.

Balanchine's Who Cares? premieres in February.

1971

Dance Theatre of Harlem, founded by former Principal Dancer Arthur Mitchell, shares the stage with the Company for a one-time-only gala performance of Concerto for Jazz Band and Orchestra, jointly choreographed by Balanchine and Mitchell.

1972

Stravinsky-8
Balanchine and Robbins
rehearsing Pulcinella on stage
Photo © Martha Swope

Balanchine presents an eight-day Stravinsky Festival as a tribute to the composer, who died the previous year. Twenty-two new works are presented by Balanchine. Todd Bolender, John Clifford, Lorca Massine, Robbins, Richard Tanner, and Taras, along with repertory ballets by Balanchine and Robbins. Balanchine's new ballets include Symphony in Three Movements, Duo Concertant, and Violin Concerto. Balanchine and Robbins co-choreograph and appear in Pulcinella.

In August, New York City Ballet represents the United States in cultural presentations at the Olympic Games in Munich. Upon its return, the Company dances for the first time at the new Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Virginia.

A second visit to the Soviet Union is followed by a first appearance in Poland, where the Company dances in Lodz and Warsaw.

Karin von Aroldingen, Gelsey Kirkland, and Sara Leland are promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer.

Friends of the Company formalize their efforts for support by creating the New York City Ballet Guild.

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center receives a major touring grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the Company's summer performances.

1973

Company members go to Berlin to film 15 Balanchine ballets for RM Productions.

Kirstein publishes New York City Ballet (Alfred A. Knopf) in commemoration of the Company's 25th Anniversary, with photographs by George Platt Lynes and Martha Swope.

John Clifford is promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer.

Danilova
Balanchine and Danilova
rehearshing Coppélia.
Photo © Martha Swope

1974

The New York City Ballet performs for the first time at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Balanchine and ballerina Alexandra Danilova collaborate on a new production of Coppélia which is given its premiere at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Peter Schaufuss, an alumnus of the Royal Danish Ballet, joins the Company as Principal Dancer.

The Ford Foundation awards the Company a seven-year challenge grant of $2,700,000 intended to stabilize its financial position.

1975

Balanchine pays homage to composer Maurice Ravel and to France with a two-week Ravel Festival. It includes 16 new ballets by Jacques d'Amboise, Balanchine, Robbins, and Taras as well as repertory ballets. Highlights include Le Tombeau de Couperin by Balanchine and Robbins' Mother Goose.

Adam Lüders, a Principal Dancer with the Royal Danish Ballet, joins the Company as Principal Dancer.

There are now 85 members of the Company.

While remaining under the purview of City Center, New York City Ballet establishes its own board of directors.

Union Jack
NYCB ensemble in Union Jack finale
Photo © Paul Kolnik

1976

The Company celebrates the United States Bicentennial with Balanchine's Union Jack, a tribute to America's British heritage, underwritten by The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation.

The Company also participates in the International Festival de Danse in Paris as part of a French salute to the United States Bicentennial.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation inaugurates a renewable three-year cycle of significant support to be used at the discretion of the artistic director. Important individual gifts continue to be made for commissioning of new works.

Bugaku
Bugaku
Daric Kistler, Albert Evans
Photo © Paul Kolnik

1977

In Nashville, Tennessee, the Company films the first two of a number of Dance in America programs for the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), featuring works by Balanchine: Tzigane, Andante from Divertimenento No. 15, and The Four Temperaments.

The Canadian Broadcasting System also films Balanchine's Bugaku and Chaconne.

Merrill Ashley and Robert Weiss are promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer.

Karinska retires after designing and making the costumes for Balanchine's Vienna Waltzes.

Stanley Williams stages Bournonville Divertissements, using a selection of works by August Bournonville.

A first visit is made to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

The Company is awarded its first $1,000,000 Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Calcium Light
Calcium Light Night
Alexandra Ansanelli, Edwaard Liang
Photo © Paul Kolnik

1978

Peter Martins' first ballet, Calcium Light Night, premieres in January.

The year's engagements include first visits to West Palm Beach, Florida, and Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens.

Mikhail Baryshnikov makes his debut as a member of the Company at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center after dancing in Prodigal Son for a Dance in America program with New York City Ballet.

The television series Live from Lincoln Center presents Coppélia.

Sean Lavery is promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer.

1979

Grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and local presenters enable performances in the upstate New York cities of Rochester, Syracuse, and Buffalo.

Robbins creates Opus 19/The Dreamer, which premieres in June.

Opus Dreamer
Opus 19/The Dreamer
Peter Boal, NYCB ensemble
Photo © Paul Kolnik

The Company returns to London for the first time in 14 years, for two weeks of performances at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in September.

Baryshnikov dances for the last time as an NYCB Principal Dancer at Kennedy Center on October 12 in La Sonnambula.

A New York City Ballet Education Department is established.

Organized by Balanchine, the Company inaugurates its annual "Ballet for Young People" matinees at the New York State Theater.

Bart Cook, Daniel Duell, Kyra Nichols, and Heather Watts are promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer.