Paula Zahn of NYC-ARTS interviews Peter Martins, Ballet Master in Chief of the New York City Ballet.
Born in Denmark, Peter Martins began his association with the Company back in 1967, when he was invited to dance the title role in choreographer George Balanchine’s Apollo during the Company’s appearance at the Edinburgh Festival.
After three years as a guest artist, he joined the company as a principal dancer in 1970. Before retiring from the stage in 1983, Martins danced a great variety of roles with the Company and was acclaimed for his outstanding partnering skills and noble stage presence. After the passing of Balanchine in 1983, and sharing the Ballet Master title for a number of years, Martins ultimately assumed sole directorship of the New York City Ballet in 1990.
Last summer, the Company was invited to Paris once again to perform in the city’s annual dance festival. During their 3 week stay at the historic Theatre du Chatelet, the Company presented the full range of their repertoire, with 20 different ballets including 14 works by Balanchine, as well as a special program with a decidedly Parisian “flavor.”
Great Performances captured that evening, which featured four Balanchine ballets set to the music of French composers Gounod, Ravel and Bizet. These ballets show a range of elegant works created by this master dance maker of the 20th century. The programs will air on consecutive Fridays, February 17 and 24 at 9PM on PBS (check local listings).
Zahn talks with Martins about the art of dance, the legacy of Balanchine, and about the two brilliant programs recorded with the New York City Ballet in Paris.
Mary Ann Toman
Jason La Penna
Senior Production Manager
George Balanchine and Peter Martins
Courtesy of the New York City Ballet
Tanaquil Le Clerq
Photography of Merrill Ashley & George Balanchine,
Balanchine with Peter Martins rehearsing Sonate Di Scarlatti,
and Peter Martins holding lyre.
© Steven Caras, All Rights Reserved.
Photography of George Balanchine with Arthur Mitchell
and Balanchine with Maria Tallchief
Additional photographs provided by
Kyle Froman Photography
Footage of the School of American Ballet