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NYCB in London No. 1 - Covent Garden

Updated: Mar 14

This week NYCB takes London as part of its 75th anniversary season tour schedule! In 1950 and 1952, NYCB made two important trips to London. As the company had just been founded two years before in 1948, the tours were great tests for the young company. How would they be received by an international audience? How would Europeans respond to Balanchine's new and mainly plotless ballets? Stick with me this week to find out!


“In 1950, ten months into my first year as a member of New York City Ballet, I was on my way to London. For a fledgling company that had started some two years before, and for this fifteen-year-old, it was incredible. […] Balanchine was ecstatic. He was forty-six years old, having left London for America close to seventeen years earlier, and was returning to perform at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden with his new ballet company. Lincoln Kirstein was triumphant. For years he had been shooting his mouth off to English friends about his great plans for a ballet in America, and now he could flaunt his accomplishments.”


—Jacques d’Amboise in “I Was a Dancer” (affiliate link)





(left and right) Balanchine, Robbins, ??, Maria Tallchief.

(center) Jacques d'Amboise.

Photos by Roger Wood. NYPL

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