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NYCB Vol. 3 No. 1 - Serenade

Tonight we begin again where it all began: Serenade, Balanchine’s first work in America (1934). With tonight’s performance of Serenade, we honor the memory of Dr. William Hamilton, who passed away recently. Dr. Hamilton was NYCB’s attending orthopedist for more than 40 years.

Dr. Hamilton wrote: “I realized that I knew about sports medicine and athletic injuries but I didn’t know very much about ballet. I lived across the street from Balanchine. Almost every weekend I went over to the New York State Theater for his class. I would sit and watch. I had to learn the vocabulary and the technique. […] Purely by accident I was working for Balanchine during his golden years.” —Excerpt from Francis Mason’s I Remember Balanchine (affiliate link)

Here’s an odd little parallel for you…the original Stravinsky Festival (1972) was planned to celebrate 50 years of collaboration with Balanchine, and also Stravinsky’s 90th birthday. 1972 is also when Dr. Hamilton began working with NYCB and so tonight, 50 years after Hamilton began working with NYCB we celebrate him, who was 90 when he passed.

(left) Suki Schorer, Carole Fields, Patricia Wilde, Carol Sumner and Victoria Simon, 1961.

(right) Serenade, 1978

(left) Dr. Hamilton, 1979

(right) Kay Mazzo consults Dr. Hamilton, 1979

All photos by Martha Swope

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