38 Facts About George Balanchine


George Balanchine's choreography is characterized by plotless ballets with minimal costume and decor, performed to classical and neoclassical music.


George Balanchine was a choreographer known for his musicality; he expressed music with dance and worked extensively with leading composers of his time like Igor Stravinsky.


George Balanchine was invited to America in 1933 by a young arts patron named Lincoln Kirstein, and together they founded the School of American Ballet in 1934 as well as the New York City Ballet in 1948.


George Balanchine was born Georgiy Melitonovich Balanchivadze in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire, son of Georgian opera singer and composer Meliton Balanchivadze, one of the founders of the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre and later the culture minister of the short-lived Democratic Republic of Georgia, which became independent in 1918 but was later subsumed into the Soviet Union.


The rest of the Georgian side of George Balanchine's family consisted largely of artists and soldiers.


George Balanchine was fond of ballet and viewed it as a form of social advancement from the lower reaches of Saint Petersburg society.


George Balanchine was eleven years younger than Meliton and rumored to have been his former housekeeper, although "she had at least some culture in her background" as she could play piano well.


George Balanchine spent the World War I years at the Mariinsky Theater until it closed down in 1917 due to a government decree.


George Balanchine mounted some new and experimental ballets for the Mikhailovsky Theatre in Petrograd.


George Balanchine graduated from the conservatory in 1923, and danced as a member of the corps until 1924.


George Balanchine went about his choreography in an experimental way during the evening time.


In 1923, with Geva and fellow dancers, George Balanchine formed a small ensemble, the Young Ballet.


George Balanchine was 21 at the time and became the main choreographer for the most famous ballet company.


Between 1924 and Diaghilev's death in 1929, George Balanchine created ten ballets, as well as lesser works.


George Balanchine described it as "the turning point in my life".


George Balanchine considered music to be the primary influence on choreography, as opposed to the narrative.


George Balanchine was retained by the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen as a guest ballet master.


George Balanchine was financed by Edward James, a British poet and ballet patron.


George Balanchine lasted only a couple of months during 1933, performing only in Paris and London, when the Great Depression made arts more difficult to fund.


George Balanchine created several new works, including collaborations with composers Kurt Weill, Darius Milhaud, Henri Sauguet and designer Pavel Tchelitchew.


George Balanchine insisted that his first project in the United States would be to establish a ballet school because he wanted to develop dancers who had strong technique along with his particular style.


Warburg, the School of American Ballet opened to students on January 2,1934, less than three months after George Balanchine arrived in the US Later that year, George Balanchine had his students perform in a recital, where they premiered his new work Serenade to music by Tchaikovsky at Woodlands, the Warburg summer estate.


Between his ballet activities in the 1930s and 1940s, George Balanchine choreographed Broadway musicals written by such notables as Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart and Vernon Duke.


George Balanchine relocated his company to Hollywood in 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.


George Balanchine created dances for five movies, all of which featured Vera Zorina, whom he met on the set of The Goldwyn Follies and who subsequently became his second wife.


George Balanchine reconvened the company as the American Ballet Caravan and toured with it throughout North and South America, but it folded after several years.


Soon George Balanchine formed a new dance company, Ballet Society, again with the generous help of Lincoln Kirstein.


George Balanchine continued to work with contemporary composers such as Paul Hindemith, from whom he commissioned a score in 1940 for The Four Temperaments.


In 1954, George Balanchine created his version of The Nutcracker, in which he played the mime role of Drosselmeyer.


George Balanchine has since performed the ballet every year in New York City during the Christmas season.


George Balanchine first showed symptoms during 1978 when he began losing his balance while dancing.


George Balanchine's choreography remains the same to the present day and the School of American Ballet still uses his teaching technique.


George Balanchine had a Russian Orthodox funeral, and was interred at the Oakland Cemetery at Sag Harbor, Suffolk County, New York at the same cemetery where Alexandra Danilova was later interred.


Until 1931, she and George Balanchine lived together as husband and wife, although they were never married.


George Balanchine was still officially married to another dancer, Tamara Geva, and he told Miss Danilova that because his marriage papers had been left behind in Russia, he feared it might be difficult to arrange a legal separation.


George Balanchine had no children by any of his marriages and no known offspring from any of his extramarital liaisons.


When [ballerina Suzanne Farrell] fell in love with and married a young dancer, George Balanchine dismissed her from the company, thereby injuring her career for a crucial decade.


George Balanchine Way is a segment of West 63rd Street in New York City that was renamed in his honor in June 1990.