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Founded by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein
Chairman of Faculty and Artistic Director Peter Martins

History

Ballet Society

In 1946, Balanchine and Kirstein create a performing company with a membership-only audience called Ballet Society. Once again using students from the School of American Ballet, this company focuses primarily on performing Balanchine’s choreography. He further expands his innovative approach to classical dancing with The Four Temperaments in 1946. This landmark ballet danced to a commissioned score by Paul Hindemith originally features elaborate costumes that Balanchine insists obscure the choreography. The ballet’s premiere features modified versions of the original costumes, marking the beginning of a Balanchine trend towards simple outfits that fully reveal the line of the dance. Five years later, the ballet is simply danced in black and white practice clothes, a "costume" that will be used in numerous Balanchine works now commonly referred to as his “black and white” ballets.