Peter Martins was born in Denmark and spent 50 years with New York City Ballet as a dancer, choreographer, and Ballet Master in Chief. After appearing for three years as a guest artist, Martins joined the Company as a Principal Dancer in 1970. During his career as a dancer, from which he retired in 1983, he performed in a tremendous variety of ballets in the repertory, and originated roles in many works by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, among others. From 1983 to 1989, he and Jerome Robbins served as co-Ballet Masters in Chief of the New York City Ballet and, from 1990 to 2017, Martins assumed sole artistic directorship of the Company. Under his leadership New York City Ballet added significantly to its repertory, while maintaining the integrity of its core works, the 20th-century masterpieces by Balanchine and Robbins. Martins began his career as a choreographer in 1977 with Calcium Light Night and has since created more than 80 ballets, mainly for NYCB and many of them set to scores by contemporary American composers.