The 1980s

Upon Balanchine’s death in 1983, Peter Martins becomes chairman of faculty at SAB and co-ballet master in chief (with Jerome Robbins) at New York City Ballet. One year later, the School celebrates its 50th anniversary with a gala performance at the New York State Theater. In May 1987, SAB becomes the eleventh constituent of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and begins to plan an expansion into a new building adjacent to Juilliard. Now 82 years old, Lincoln Kirstein retires in 1989 as president of SAB and general director of New York City Ballet. SAB and NYCB alumnae Kay Mazzo, Garielle Whittle and Susan Pilarre join the School’s faculty during this period, and notable students of the decade include Ethan Stiefel, Wendy Whelan and Damian Woetzel.