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Balanchine Way
George Balanchine
Way announcement

The Dance in America segments taped in 1989 are broadcast in January.

Tanner's Prague Symphony premieres in February.

Also in February, the annual Dancers' Emergency Fund Benefit closes the Season featuring the premiere of Martins' Four Gnossiennes, with music by Erik Satie.

In June, West 63rd Street between Broadway and Columbus Avenue is named "Balanchine Way."

Nichol Hlinka is promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer.

In June, the Company celebrates the work of Robbins with A Festival of Jerome Robbins' Ballets, three weeks of performances of 27 of the 54 works Robbins has made for New York City Ballet. The program includes two major revivals, Mother Goose and Watermill, and a special closing night features guest artists from the Paris Opera Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.

Fearful Symmetries
Carrie Lee Riggins, Alexander Ritter
Photo © Paul Kolnik

At the Spring Gala in May, Martins' Fearful Symmetries premieres, with music by John Adams.

In late June and early July, Martins and La Fosse stage performances of A Mass (Missa Sicca), performed by 50 Company members and 50 students from the School of American Ballet. The score, commissioned by Kirstein, is by Michael Torke. The chapel architecture, by Philip Johnson, is rendered for the stage by Alain Vaës.

In June, Ib Andersen dances his final performance with New York City Ballet in Apollo.

This summer marks the 25th Anniversary season of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

In September, the Company departs for one week of performances at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

In honor of the 150th Anniversary of the composer's birth, opening night of the winter season features Balanchine/Tschaikovsky ballets: Serenade, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux and Diamonds.


In February, La Fosse's Waltz Trilogy premieres. In the same month, Soloist Shaun O'Brien retires after a final performance as Dr. Coppélius in Coppélia.

The annual Dancers' Emergency Fund Benefit, on closing night of the winter season, features four pas de deux premieres by Mahdaviani, La Fosse, Alexandre Proia, and Sean Lavery.

In April, The Sleeping Beauty premieres. The full-length production features choreography by Martins (after Marius Petipa), with Balanchine's Garland Dance, music by Tschaikovsky, costume design by Patricia Zipprodt, and sets by David Mitchell.

Romeo and Juliet
Jenifer Ringer, Nikolaj Hübbe
Photo © Paul Kolnik

In June, Martins' Ash premieres, with music by Michael Torke.

The summer season features Saratoga premieres of The Sleeping Beauty, Ash, Waltz Trilogy, and Lavery's Romeo and Juliet.

Robert Irving, Principal Conductor and Music Director of New York City Ballet for more than 30 years, dies in England on September 13. This year, underwriting from The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc., establishes the Robert Irving Guest Conductor's Chair. The three-year gift enables the Company to engage such artists as Maurice Kaplow and Donald York to perform with the New York City Ballet Orchestra.

Margaret Tracey and Wendy Whelan are promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer.

The November Opening Night Gala features the premiere of Martins' A Musical Offering, with music by Johann Sebastian Bach.

In January, Martins' Delight of the Muses premieres, with music by Charles Wuorinen.


In February, the eighth annual Dancers' Emergency Fund Benefit closes the season. This one-time-only program features excerpts from "story ballets," including A Midsummer Night's Dream, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™, Apollo, and Prodigal Son.

May 27 marks the inaugural Diamond Project performances made possible by the Aaron Diamond Foundation. Created to foster works by new choreographers, the project features a total of 11 new ballets. The choreographers are David Allan, John Alleyne, Bart Cook, William Forsythe, La Fosse, Mahdaviani, Martins, Toni Pimble, Proia, Tanner, and Lynne Taylor-Corbett.

In June, New York City Ballet presents three performances of Duo Concertant, danced by Baryshnikov and Yvonne Borree. Baryshnikov also dances the New York premiere of Three Preludes, choreographed by Mark Morris with music by George Gershwin.

The premiere of Martins' Zakouski opens the 1992-93 Winter Season in November. On this occasion, Nikolaj Hübbe, former Principal Dancer with the Royal Danish Ballet, makes his debut with the Company as a Principal Dancer.

Jazz (Six Syncopated Movements)
Wendy Whelan, Nikolaj Hübbe
Photo © Paul Kolnik


In January, New York City Ballet presents the world premiere of Martins' Jazz (Six Syncopated Movements), to a commissioned score by Wynton Marsalis, who performs with his ensemble at each performance.

Nilas Martins and Philip Neal are promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer.

In May, an eight-week Balanchine Celebration opens on Kirstein's 86th birthday. The celebration marks 10 years since Balanchine's death in April 1983 and offers an unprecedented overview of his works in chronological order. The Company presents several refurbished productions, including Serenade, Firebird, Union Jack, Bourrée Fantasque, and Harlequinade. In total, 73 ballets are performed.

In June, the Company hosts Dinner with Balanchine, a performance that lasts nearly six hours, with guest artists from American and European companies. During the three intermissions, hors d'oeuvres, entrée, and dessert are served. The evening finishes with a toast to Mr. B with Absolut vodka.

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker
DVD cover

The Balanchine Celebration is featured on the PBS Dance in America series and airs on December 25.

In early September, the Company returns to Copenhagen for seven performances during the 150th Anniversary of Tivoli Gardens.

In October, the Company performs for a two-week engagement at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

On November 24, the film version of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™ opens in movie theaters across the country.


Martins' Symphonic Dances premieres in February, with music by Rachmaninoff. Tanner's A Schubert Sonata premieres.

The second Diamond Project takes place during the spring season, and provides the Company with 12 new works by David Allan, John Alleyne, Ulysses Dove, Anna Laerkesen, La Fosse, Mahdaviani, Trey McIntyre, Kevin O'Day, Martins, Tanner, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, and Woetzel.

Red Angels
Maria Kowroski, Albert Evans
Photo © Paul Kolnik

For selected performances in May, Baryshnikov appears as a Guest Artist in Robbins' A Suite of Dances.

In June, Adam Lüders and Gen Horiuchi dance their farewell performances.

In July, Woetzel's Glazounov Pas de Deux premieres, with costumes designed by Heather Watts.

For 10 days in August, the Company travels to Italy, performing at Teatro di Verdura in Palermo.

November 22, opening night, marks the premiere of two Martins ballets: Untitled, with music by Charles Wuorinen, and X-Ray, with music by John Adams. November also sees the Company premiere of 2 & 3 Part Inventions, previously created for School of American Ballet students by Robbins with music by Johann Sebastian Bach.


In January, Heather Watts dances her final performance with New York City Ballet, in Bugaku and Valse Triste.

In February, Tanner's Operetta Affezionata and Kevin O'Day's Huoah premiere.

Albert Evans and Ethan Stiefel are promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer.

In May, Robbins' West Side Story Suite premieres, with music from the Broadway show by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, set designs by Oliver Smith, costume designs by Irene Sharaff, and lighting designs by Jennifer Tipton. The conductor is Paul Gemignani.

In June, Martins' Adams Violin Concerto premieres.

From late September to early October, the Company dances for two weeks at the Theatre du Châtelet in Paris as part of the International Festival de Danse de Paris.

At the November Opening Night Gala, Kevin O'Day's Dvorak Bagatelles premieres.  


In January, Martins' Reliquary premieres, with music by Charles Wuorinen. The ballet is a tribute to Balanchine's choreography, and the score is based on fragments of Stravinsky's compositions that were given to Wuorinen by the late composer's wife. David Parsons' Touch, set to a commissioned score by composer Richard Peaslee, also premieres in January.

On January 5, Kirstein dies at the age of 88.

On February 18, a memorial service for Kirstein is held at the New York State Theater. Excerpts of Mozartiana and Orpheus are performed by Kyra Nichols and Peter Boal. Speakers include Paul Cadmus, Philip Johnson, Beverly Sills, and Jamie Wyeth.

Miranda Weese is promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer.

During the spring season, Ulysses Dove's Twilight, Martins' Tschaikovsky Pas de Quatre, and O'Day's Badchonim (Merry-Makers) premiere.

NYCB Ensemble
Photo © Paul Kolnik


On January 22, Robbins' Brandenburg premieres, with music by Johann Sebastian Bach. With this performance the New Combinations Evening is inaugurated: from this year forward, New York City Ballet will celebrate the anniversary of Balanchine's birthday with a new choreographic work.

Judith Fugate retires from the Company.

The third Diamond Project ushers in the Spring Season, with six new works by Christopher d'Amboise, La Fosse, Mahdaviani, O'Day, Angelin Preljocaj, and Christopher Wheeldon.

In July, three Diamond Project ballets premiere at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center: La Stravaganza, Open Strings, and Slavonic Dances.

In September and October, the Company is divided for the first time into two touring groups: one group departs for Brazil for two weeks of performances in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Salvador. The second group spends three weeks in the Pacific Rim, with performances in Seoul, Taipei, and Melbourne.

On opening night of the 1997-1998 Winter Season, Merrill Ashley dances in her final performance with New York City Ballet.


Marking the start of NYCB's 50th Anniversary year, William Morrow and Company publishes "Tributes: Celebrating 50 Years of New York City Ballet" in October. The New-York Historical Society mounts a major exhibition documenting the Company's first half century.

NYCB former dancers and
Company members
Photo © Paul Kolnik

In July 1998 Jerome Robbins dies.

NYCB's 50th Anniversary tour takes it to California, Texas and stops across New York State for 26 performances in October.

In November, Charles Askegard and Monique Meunier are promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer.

The Opening Night Gala Benefit on November 24 opens New York City Ballet's 50th Anniversary celebrations with a recreation of the Company's first performance and includes Concerto Barocco, Orpheus and Symphony in C. Prior to the formal start of the season, 1,000 former dancers and Company members are invited to a reunion celebration on the Promenade of the New York State Theater.


During the 1998-1999 50th Anniversary season, NYCB presents 100 different ballets. At January's New Combinations Evening,Martins' Walton Cello Concerto receives its world premiere.

In May, NYCB dances the American premiere of Martins' full-length Swan Lake. On May 5, Swan Lake is broadcast to the country on the Public Broadcasting System as part of the Live from Lincoln Center series.

As part of the 50th Anniversary Spring Season Stravinsky Festival, Wheeldon creates his second work for NYCB, Scènes de Ballet. A large work, this ballet employs a cast of 62 students from the School of American Ballet.

Maria Kowroski is named a Principal Dancer in June.

Two works, both with scores by Wynton Marsalis, are features of the 1999 Spring Season. Duke!, in three sections, is choreographed by La Fosse, Garth Fagan, and Susan Stroman. Them Twos, comprised entirely of pas de deux, is by Martins.

A strike action by NYCB Orchestra musicians forces the presentation of several performances of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™ to be accompanied by recorded music. Contract resolution is achieved within two weeks.