Ballet in NYC is presented by some of the world’s leading ballet companies including New York City Ballet (NYCB) and American Ballet Theater (ABT). Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is a modern dance company, but its technique and artistry are at the same level. These are New York City’s big three dance companies.
Ballet is an Italian court dance that developed in France. After the French Revolution, it was preserved in the royal courts of Russia and Denmark before being reintroduced to the world out of Paris by Ballets Russes.
New York City is blessed with a connection to ballet’s European origins through George Balanchine. He danced and choreographed for Ballets Russes before co-founding New York City Ballet. In Europe Mr. B was the bridge from classical ballet to modern ballet. He also seeded leaders at Dance Theater of Harlem, Washington Ballet and Miami City Ballet.
Balanchine and America’s first prima ballerina Maria Tallchief (Osage Nation) transformed “The Nutcracker” from an obscure ballet into the world’s most popular ballet. Its performances support ballet companies all year long.
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The City’s leading dance theaters include the David H. Koch Theater and the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, New York City Center and The Joyce Theater. New York City Center brings productions from London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre, the world’s top international dance theater. The Joyce Theater also produces. Both City Center and The Joyce have long worked to develop dance in Cuba.
New York is the city that never stops dancing. In summer, the Joyce Theater produces a Ballet Festival and a lot of dance moves out of the City. NYC Ballet produces summer programs upstate in Saratoga Springs. The Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival is in Becket, Massachusetts. Former ABT dancer Stella Abrera launched a popular new dance festival, Kattsbaan in Tivoli, New York, upstate.
Ballet Festivals NYC
The Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) is the leading professional ballet audition in the Americas. We think YAGP performances are the most spirited ballet in New York City.
The Joyce Theater produces a Ballet Festival during the summer.
Ballet Companies NYC
NYC’s legendary ballet companies include New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Each stands out in its own way.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is a modern dance company whose artistry and technique equal the great ballet companies.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is the African-American dance company that popularized…
American Ballet Theatre (ABT) is “America’s National Ballet Company.” It is a…
There is no ballet company like New York City Ballet. It blended…
We mention Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) here even though it is a modern dance company. AAADT’s dancers, technique, choreography and productions are so strong that Ailey is part of NYC’s big three dance companies with NYC Ballet and ABT.
Ballet Schools NYC
Our leading ballet schools are New York City Ballet’s School of American Ballet, and ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.
Ballet schools don’t just teach dance. They teach self-discipline, working together and a self-confidence that students carry with them throughout their lives.
Is This Latin?
Like all things Latin, that depends on your own definition. Using the term “Latin” in reference to the Americas is a French construct that was adopted by South American politicians when France was the world leader, and then adopted by the United Nations in the 1950s.
Ballet is a fifteenth-century Italian court dance brought to France by Italian Queen of France and later Queen Mother Catherine de’ Medici (from the Italian banking family of Florence). In France, ballet developed in the royal court of King Louis XIV. The “Sun King” loved to party.
The dance almost died when the French Revolution shut down the royal court in 1789, but was preserved in the Russian and Danish royal courts.
In the modern era, ballet was popularized by Ballets Russes (1909-1929) out of Paris. One of its choreographers, George Balanchine “Mr. B,” is the father of ballet in the United States, and the founding choreographer of New York City Ballet.
Ballet training starts early and is expensive, so it’s long been a sport for rich kids. We tend to lack the technique that years of training produces. Balanchine loved the skinny waif body type. We’ve long been told that we don’t have the right bodies for ballet.
Lourdes Lopez at New York City Ballet and Misty Copeland at American Ballet Theatre broke the mold. So did Carlos Acosta, Julio Bocca and Arthur Mitchell. We dance with the best. Don’t let anybody tell you that ballet isn’t for Latins.