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George Balanchine’s life and career timeline

1904

Georg Melitonovich Balanchivadze is born on January 22nd in St. Petersburg, Russia.

1904
1909

Begins piano lessons.

1909
1913

Begins studies at the Imperial Theater School in St. Petersburg. Appears with other students at the Maryinsky Theater.

1913
1917

The Imperial Theater School is closed because of the Revolution, but reopens the next year as the Soviet State School of Ballet.

1917
1920

Choreographs his first piece, a duet entitled LA NUIT. Enters the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music.

1920
1921

Graduates and joins the Maryinsky Theatre, which had been renamed the State Theater of Opera and Ballet.

1921
1922

Forms the Young Ballet which creates and performs experimental dance.

1922
1924

Along with three other dancers, leaves USSR to tour Germany, London, and Paris.

1924
1925

Joins Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in Paris. Diaghilev makes Balanchinvadze his principle choreographer and convinces him to change his name to Balanchine. Meets Igor Stravinsky.

1925
1928

APOLLO, his first work in collaboration with Stravinsky.

1928
1929

Diaghilev dies. Choreographs PRODIGAL SON.

1929
1930

Spends the next few years as choreographer for several dance companies in Europe.

1930
1933

Co-founds avant-garde company Les Ballets 1933 and creates works including THE SEVEN DEADLY SIN, ERRANTE, LES SONGES, and FASTES. Meets Lincoln Kirstein who convinces him to move to America.

1933
1934

With Kirstein, founds School of American Ballet in New York. SERENADE.

1934
1935

With Kirstein, founds the American Ballet.

1935
1936

SLAUGHTER ON TENTH AVENUE ballet in the film ON YOUR TOES, which he had originally created on Broadway.

1936
1938

Choreographs the film Goldwyn Follies.

1938
1941

His American Ballet Caravan tours South America. CONCERTO BAROCCO and BALLET IMPERIAL.

1941
1943

Worked for the Original Ballet Russe, which toured much of the U.S. during the war years.

1943
1946

With Kirstein, founds the Ballet Society. THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS

1946
1948

The Ballet Society becomes the New York City Ballet. He will remain Master in Chief (head choreographer) there for the rest of his life. ORPHEUS.

1948
1949

Jerome Robbins joins the New York City Ballet.

1949
1954

THE NUTCRACKER.

1954
1957

AGON.

1957
1959

EPISODES, choreographed with Martha Graham.

1959
1962

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.

1962
1964

The Ford Foundation grants almost $8 million to the New York City Ballet. The Company moves to their new home at Lincoln Center.

1964
1965

DON QUIXOTE.

1965
1975

Receives France's Legion of Honor.

1975
1977

PBS series "Dance in America" introduces many works to television audiences.

1977
1983

Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom. Dies on April 30th in New York City at the age of 79.

1983
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