- Kirstein, Lincoln Edward
▪ 1997U.S. arts patron (b. May 4, 1907, Rochester, N.Y.—d. Jan. 5, 1996, New York, N.Y.), was a dance authority and cofounder and general director (1948-89) of the New York City Ballet. Together with choreographer George Balanchine, he changed the course of dance in the U.S. Their collaboration lasted until Balanchine's death in 1983. Kirstein was ambitious, financially independent, and keenly interested in high culture. While at Harvard University, he founded and edited (1927-34) the literary magazine Hound & Horn. Having developed a passion for classical ballet, he recruited the young Balanchine to help him establish an American ballet company. They opened the School of American Ballet (now the affiliated school of the New York City Ballet) in 1934. The next year the American Ballet dance company was inaugurated. The company disbanded during the early 1940s, and Kirstein joined the army. In 1946, again with Balanchine, Kirstein founded Ballet Society, another dance troupe. Two years later this troupe danced the premiere of Igor Stravinsky's Orpheus, a performance that was considered a landmark of modern dance. That same year the corps became the resident company of the City Center of Music and Drama, and Kirstein and Balanchine continued to transform it into one of the world's leading ballet companies, moving with it in 1964 to its present home in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Kirstein's literary output was eclectic and prolific. He wrote about dance in such works as Dance: A Short History of Classic Theatrical Dancing (1935), Ballet Alphabet (1939), Movement & Metaphor (1970), The New York City Ballet (1973), and Nijinsky Dancing (1975). His poetry is published in such volumes as Rhymes and More Rhymes of a Pfc (1966), first published in 1964 under the title Rhymes for a Pfc, and The Poems of Lincoln Kirstein (1987). He produced a series of monographs on visual artists, including Elie Nadelman (1973), Paul Cadmus (1984), and Tchelitchev (1994). In the last decade of his life, Kirstein wrote a number of memoirs, notably Quarry (1986), By With To & From (1991), and the slightly scandalous Mosaic (1994), in which he reported a number of heterosexual and homosexual affairs.
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