The School of American Ballet Celebrating its 75th Anniversary

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From left, Seth Orza, Sarah Ricard Orza, Karel Cruz and Chalnessa Eames in Jerome Robbins’s “Dances at a Gathering.”

New York, NY – “THE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAN BALLET is on the
same order as the Muscovite Imperial Ballet back in the days when the czar
racket was a paying proposition.” So begins an unpublished 1933 draft for a news
release for the School of American Ballet’s foundation recently found in its
archives; the author, it is assumed, was Lincoln Kirstein. A later news
release, dated Nov. 27, 1933, begins: “The School of the American Ballet under
the direction of Georges Balanchine, maître de ballet for Diaghilev’s Ballets
Russes, the Monte Carlo Ballet and Les Ballets 1933, will inaugurate its first
season early in December at 637 Madison Avenue.
The purpose of the
school is the development of a national ballet, corresponding to the famous
Russian Ballet, but essentially American in character, enlisting the talents of
American artists, dealing with typically American themes, creating an American
tradition.”