George Balanchine

Russian-american Choreographer and Ballet Master and Master Teacher
Born Jan 22, 1904
Hometown Lomonosov, Russia
Died Apr 30, 1983
Death Place New York City
Other Names Georgi Melitonovi...

George Balanchine, born Giorgi Melitonovitch Balanchivadze, was one of the 20th century's most famous choreographers, a developer of ballet in the United States and the co-founder and balletmaster of New York City Ballet. He was a choreographer known for his musicality; he expressed music with dance and worked extensively with Igor Stravinsky. Thirty-nine of his more than four hundred ballets were choreographed to music by Stravinsky.… Read More

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1904 Birth Born on January 22, 1904.
1913 9 Years Old Based on his audition, during 1913 (at age nine) Balanchine relocated from rural Finland to Saint Petersburg and was accepted into the Imperial Ballet School, principal school of the Imperial Ballet, where he was a student of Pavel Gerdt and Samuil Andrianov (Pavel's son-in-law). … Read More


1921 17 Years Old After graduating in 1921, Balanchine enrolled in the Petrograd Conservatory while working in the corps de ballet at the State Academic Theater for Opera and Ballet (formerly the State Theater of Opera and Ballet and known as the Mariinsky Ballet). … Read More
1922 18 Years Old In 1922, when Balanchine was eighteen years old, he married Tamara Geva, a fifteen-year-old dancer.
1923 19 Years Old 1 More Event
Balanchine graduated from the conservatory during 1923, and danced as a member of the corps until 1924, when he was banished from the country for his outlandish ideas and choreography. … Read More


1924 20 Years Old 1 More Event
On a 1924 visit to Germany with the Soviet State Dancers, Balanchine, his wife Tamara Geva, and the dancers Alexandra Danilova, and Nicholas Efimov fled to Paris, where there was a large Russian community of families exiled by the Revolution. … Read More
1926 22 Years Old After his divorce from Geva, Balanchine was with Alexandra Danilova from 1926 through 1933. … Read More
1928 24 Years Old Among his new works, during 1928 in Paris, Balanchine premiered Apollon musagète (Apollo and the muses) in a collaboration with Stravinsky; it was one of his most innovative ballets, combining classical ballet and classical Greek myth and images with jazz movement. … Read More


1935 31 Years Old During 1935, Balanchine formed a professional company named the American Ballet. … Read More
1936 32 Years Old In 1936, Balanchine staged Gluck's opera Orfeo and Eurydice and during 1937 an evening of dance works all choreographed to the music of Igor Stravinsky.
1938 34 Years Old Balanchine relocated his company to Hollywood during 1938, where he rented a white two-story house with "Kolya", Nicholas Kopeikine, his "rehearsal pianist and lifelong colleague", on North Fairfax Avenue not far from Hollywood Boulevard. … Read More
1940 36 Years Old Soon Balanchine formed a new dance company, Ballet Society, again with the generous help of Lincoln Kirstein. He continued to work with contemporary composers, such as, for example, Paul Hindemith, from whom he commissioned a score in 1940 for The Four Temperaments.


1946 42 Years Old First performed on November 20, 1946, this modernist work was one of his early abstract and spare ballets, angular and very different in movement. … Read More


1955 51 Years Old In 1955, Balanchine created his version of The Nutcracker, in which he played the mime role of Drosselmeyer. … Read More


1964 60 Years Old Balanchine collaborated with architect Philip Johnson in determining its design and finally had a theater large enough for the works he wanted to stage when the house opened in 1964. … Read More
1965 61 Years Old During the 1960s, Balanchine created and revised nearly forty ballets including in 1965 a rare foray into the genre of evening-length story ballets, Don Quixote in which he played the title role. … Read More
1972 68 Years Old In the summer of 1972, a year after the death of Stravinsky, Balanchine staged another Stravinsky Festival, for which he choreographed several major new works including the "miracle" ballets Stravinsky Violin Concerto and Symphony in Three Movements, both of which premiered on June 18, 1972.
1978 74 Years Old He first showed symptoms during 1978 when he began losing his balance while dancing. … Read More
1982 78 Years Old By 1982, he was incapacitated. … Read More
1983 79 Years Old After years of illness, Balanchine died on April 30, 1983, in New York City of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, diagnosed only after his death.
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