George Balanchine

There are many people involved in the world of fine arts today and one must have extraordinary talent to influence or create an impact in his or her field or art. George Balanchine, regarded as the "…foremost contemporary choreographer…" (Balanchivadze 1) is one of these "choreographic geniuses". It was Balanchine that brought the standards of dance up to a level that had never been seen before, creating a new audience for ballet. George Balanchine was one of the most influential choreographers of dance in ballet history.
Georgi Melitonovich Balanchivadze was born the second of three children to Meliton Balanchivadze and his wife Marie on January 22, 1904 in St. Petersburg, Russia. He received a classical education, acting and dance training beginning at the age of 9, from the Imperial Ballet School. It was originally thought that young Georgi would become one of the Tsar's cadets so it was with the thought that if things didn't work out at the ballet school he could always join the Navy. In fact, in hisfirst year Georgi was not at all thrilled by what he was learning. Eventually the initial homesickness wore off and Georgi thrived in the atmosphere.
At the age of 17, Balanchine graduated from the imperial ballet school and joined the "Soviet State Dance Company" (now known as the Kirov) (Balanchivadze 1). It was here that Georgifirst began to choreograph. This choreography deeply upset his traditionally minded superiors because of its "improper" use of costumes and his "unorthodox" dance routine. All this discouragement soon ended after Balanchine met Vladmir Dmitriev.
In 1924, with Dmitriev's help Balanchine, Tamara Geva, Nicholas Efimov, and Alexandra Danilova formed the "Soviet State Dancers". (George Balanchine 1) The group traveled throughout Europe looking for places to perform and eventually settled temporarily in London. They experience…


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