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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01pk02cc95n
Title: George Balanchine in America: Institutions, Aesthetics, and Economics of the Nonprofit Performing Arts, 1933-54
Authors: Steichen, James Patrick
Advisors: Morrison, Simon A
Contributors: Music Department
Keywords: Balanchine
Ballet
Dance
Kirstein
Patronage
Subjects: Dance
Music
Performing arts
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation chronicles the early years of the ballet enterprise begun by choreographer George Balanchine and impresario Lincoln Kirstein in the United States in 1933. Chapter 1 offers a revised history of the origins of the enterprise, resituating their collaboration within the crowded marketplace of dance performance and pedagogy of the 1930s. Chapter 2 recounts the history of the first year of the American Ballet to show how the institution focused on not just pedagogy but also performance from its earliest days and discusses the company's first performances in 1934 in White Plains, New York and Hartford, Connecticut. Chapter 3 discusses the American Ballet's debut as a company at the Adelphi Theater in New York City in order to more critically evaluate the aesthetics of the company's initial repertoire and Balanchine's early American style. Chapter 4 reexamines the process by which the American Ballet was engaged as the resident ballet company of the Metropolitan Opera and Balanchine as ballet master, as well as the company's summer engagements and short-lived nationwide tour in 1935. Chapter 5 offers a new perspective on the American Ballet's 1936 dance-intensive production of Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice, showing how the opera's modernist and experimental dramaturgy was ill-suited to the institutional context in which it would premiere, the Metropolitan Opera's new "popular price" spring season. Chapter 6 examines Balanchine's dances for the musical comedy On Your Toes--the Princess Zenobia ballet, the "On Your Toes" number, and the concluding Slaughter on Tenth Avenue--as an allegory for the process of the Americanization of ballet envisioned by Kirstein for the American Ballet, a connection made stronger by the case of an unrealized "Bach Ballet" starring tap dancer Paul Draper. Chapter 7 revisits the genesis and first season of Ballet Caravan to show how the troupe was contiguous with rather than distinct from the American Ballet, in contrast to the independent and determinative terms in which it has been understood. An Afterword reconsiders the Balanchine-Kirstein enterprise in the context of the emergence of the nonprofit organization as a normative institutional structure for the performing arts in twentieth-century America.
URI: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01pk02cc95n
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Music

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