Details on wide range of events to celebrate the life of Lincoln Kirstein. Of note to ballet fans is the fact that ALL 4th ring tickets (row C - O) will be $15 for every performance during the spring season. This is 50% of the regular price, and a price that normally on 4th ring society members can get. Of all the ways to honour someone involved with ballet, this gift which provides many more people the opportunity to see ballet at afforable prices seems to be the greatest of all:
A CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION OF LINCOLN KIRSTEIN FEATURING DANCE, ART, WRITING, AND EXHIBITION
Year of Activities Surrounding the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Lincoln Kirstein to Include Such Organizations as The Harvard Theatre Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City Ballet, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, School of American Ballet, Wadsworth Atheneum, and Whitney Museum of American Art Publications to Include a Complete Kirstein Bibliograph and Collection of Program Notes from the Eakins Press
Throughout 2007 the worlds of ballet, art, publishing, and education will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lincoln Kirstein through numerous events and activities.
These will include performances, exhibitions, lectures, and seminars, as well as the publication of several books focusing on various aspects of Kirstein’s life and work. Participating organizations include The Harvard Theatre Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City Ballet, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, School of American Ballet, Wadsworth Atheneum, and Whitney Museum of American Art.
The Eakins Press, which was founded by Kirstein’s close friend Leslie George Katz and published a number of Kirstein’s acclaimed books, will issue two new publications during 2007– Lincoln Kirstein: A Bibliography of Published Writings, edited by Peter Kayafas, and Lincoln Kirstein: The Program Notes, edited by Randall Bourscheidt. In addition, dance writer and historian Nancy Reynolds will edit a collection of reminiscences by friends and colleagues of Kirstein, which will be published by Ballet Society.
The wide-ranging scope of the organizations involved in honoring Kirstein is a testament to his diverse interests and lasting influence on many areas of the arts world. The Kirstein centennial activities have been coordinated by Nancy Lassalle, a longtime friend and colleague of Kirstein, a director emerita at New York City Ballet, and the secretary of the board of the School of American Ballet.
Kirstein, who was born on May 4, 1907, was a writer and impresario, as well as one of the most influential cultural figures of the 20th century. He was born in Rochester, New York, to a wealthy mercantile family, his father was chairman of Boston’s Filene’s Department store. Kirstein was educated at Harvard University, from which he graduated in 1930. While at Harvard he co-founded and edited the seminal literary magazine Horn and Hound, and also founded the Harvard Society of Contemporary Art, a forerunner of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
As a child he fell in love with ballet, and he first encountered the work of George Balanchine in Europe during the early 1930s. He was determined to bring the young Russian choreographer to America, and in 1933, with the financial help of friends from Harvard, he sponsored Balanchine’s emigration to the United States. In 1934 Kirstein and Balanchine founded the School of American Ballet, and in 1948 they formed New York City Ballet, both of which led to the flowering of classical ballet throughout America. Kirstein served as General Director of New York City Ballet from 1948
Kirstein also wrote and published extensively. His dance books include Dance (1935), The Classic Ballet (1952), Movement and Metaphor (1971), and Thirty Years—The New York City Ballet (1978). Other works are the novel Flesh is Heir (1932), Rhymes of a PFC (1964), and Lay This Laurel (1974), as well as monographs, essays, and books on artists such as Pavel Tchelitchew, Elie Nadelman, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Gaston Lachaise, Walker Evans, Henri Cartier-Bresson, W. Eugene Smith, George Tooker, Paul Cadmus, and Jamie Wyeth. In 1987 he published Quarry: A Collection in Lieu of Memoirs and The Poems of Lincoln Kirstein.
His eclectic interests, ambition, keen interest in high culture, and large circle of friends also stimulated creativity in many areas of the arts. The English dance critic Clement Crisp has written that Kirstein “was one of those rare talents who touch the entire artistic life of their time. Ballet, film, literature, theater, painting, sculpture, photography, all occupied his attention.”
Kirstein was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1984) and the National Medal of Arts (1985), among other honors. He died on January 5, 1996.
Kirstein Centennial Activities
New York City Ballet
New York City Ballet will celebrate Lincoln Kirstein throughout its entire 2007 Spring Season, from April 24 through June 24 at the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. Highlights will include the World Premiere of Peter Martins’ full-length staging of Romeo and Juliet, which will premiere on Tuesday, May 1, and will feature dancers from NYCB and students from the School of American Ballet, the two organizations that Lincoln Kirstein co-founded with George Balanchine.
The spring season will open with a week-long tribute to Kirstein called “For Lincoln: 10 Modern Classics,” which will feature 10 acclaimed works by George Balanchine performed on six different programs from April 24 through 28. The spring season will also include a number of ballets in which Kirstein played a direct role, either by commissioning a score, or choosing a designer, or suggesting the idea.
Throughout the spring season seats in the Fourth Ring of the New York State Theater (Rows C-O) will be priced at just $15 in honor of Kirstein’s commitment to making NYCB accessible to all at affordable prices. The Company will also hold two Monday evening seminars – May 14 and 21 – focusing on various aspects of Kirstein’s life and work.
In addition, a Kirstein Centennial Exhibition, created by Edward Bigelow, who worked closely with both Kirstein and Balanchine for many years, will be on display in the New York State Theater lobbies throughout the 2007 Spring Season. For more information visit www.nycballet.com
School of American Ballet
The School of American Ballet’s annual Workshop Performances, which provide a public introduction to many of the most talented classical ballet students in the nation, will be dedicated this year to Kirstein, who took a deep and personal interest in the progress of SAB’s advanced students throughout his life. Performances will be held at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Lincoln Center on Saturday, June 2 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and a benefit performance will take place on Monday, June 4 at 7 p.m.
On Thursday, June 7 at 8 p.m. SAB and NYCB will pay tribute to their shared heritage at a special New York City Ballet performance with students and company members performing together at the New York State Theater in Balanchine’s Serenade, a work that Balanchine choreographed at SAB just three months after he opened SAB with Kirstein in January 1934.
To inaugurate Kirstein’s centennial year, last month SAB unveiled the Lincoln Kirstein Wing, a redesigned and expanded studio space at SAB’s Lincoln Center headquarters designed by Elizabeth Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
Whitney Museum of American Art
The Whitney Museum of American Art observes the 100th anniversary of Kirstein’s birth with an exhibition, opening on April 25, 2007, that looks at a trio of artists from his circle. The exhibition focuses on the photographer Walker Evans, the sculptor Elie Nadelman, and the painter Pavel Tchelitchew, each of whom was important to Kirstein.
Kirstein curated the first major Evans exhibition and wrote the introduction to Evans’ book American Photographs (1938). He rescued the reputation of Elie Nadelman from relative obscurity and wrote monographs devoted to his sculpture and drawing. From Tchelitchew, whose work Kirstein collected and wrote about extensively, Kirstein commissioned a portrait of himself that is one of the painter’s greatest works. Selections from Kirstein’s writing will form the basis of the labels and wall texts. The exhibition will be curated by Elisabeth Sussman and Carter Foster, with guest curator Jerry L. Thompson.
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will present an exhibition emphasizing Lincoln Kirstein’s extraordinary role in commissioning artists, designers, composers, and choreographers for classical ballet in America, which culminated in the formation of Ballet Society in 1946, and ultimately led to the creation of New York City Ballet in 1948.
The exhibition will stress Kirstein’s efforts concerning the arts in America, and will include designs from Ballet Society and items from Kirstein’s personal collections which he donated to the library and which helped form what is now the largest dance collection of any library in the world. The exhibition will open on October 29, 2007 at the library’s Vincent Astor Gallery at Lincoln Center.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
In the fall of 2007 The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Concerts & Lectures department will present an afternoon-long, two-part seminar focusing on Lincoln Kirstein.
Panelists for the first part of the seminar will provide insight into Kirstein’s life, and those for the second part will focus on his involvement in and influence on the arts. The date, time, and speakers for the seminar will be announced at a later date. Performing participants will include students from the School of American Ballet and members of New York City Ballet.
(Date and ticket information will be available through the Metropolitan Museum of Art Concerts & Lectures department at 212-570-3949)
Harvard Theatre Collection
The Harvard Theatre Collection and the Harvard University Art Museums will present a special lecture focusing on Kirstein’s years as an undergraduate at Harvard. Titled “Lincoln Kirstein at Harvard: A Centenary Review,” the lecture will take place at
6 p.m. on Monday, April 30, 2007 at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum auditorium at Harvard University. The speaker will be Eugene Gaddis, Archivist at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut.
Lincoln Kirstein: A Bibliography of Published Writings
To be published by the Eakins Press on May 4, 2007, the centennial of Kirstein’s birth, this is a comprehensive listing of Kirstein’s huge literary output. Thoroughly annotated, indexed, and categorized, it features nearly 600 entries, selected excerpts, and a chronology of Kirstein’s life. Of the First Bibliography (published in 1978), The New York Times wrote, “this preliminary record of his writings on many subjects is an indispensable guide to his remarkably versatile career.”
Lincoln Kirstein: The Program Notes
To be published by the Eakins Press in the fall of 2007, this collection, edited by Randall Bourscheidt, will include the numerous short essays that Kirstein wrote as ballet program notes. Written not only to provide useful information, but also to beat a drum for the value of the classical idiom, the charm of this collection is derived from Kirstein’s wide-ranging knowledge and enthusiasm, making them not simply program notes but a lively complement to Kirstein’s other published work. Originally produced over many seasons, the notes will now be brought together in a single collection for the first time.
Lincoln Kirstein: Reminiscences
Dance writer and historian Nancy Reynolds is compiling a book of Kirstein reminiscences by a number of his friends and colleagues. Contributors will include not only members of the dance world but also artists, designers, writers, and photographers, as well as friends and neighbors, representing Kirstein’s enormously wide range of interests and activities. This book will be published by Ballet Society in the fall of 2007.
KIRSTEIN CENTENNIAL COORDINATOR
Nancy Lassalle – firstname.lastname@example.org