William Motter Inge was an American playwright and novelist, whose works feature solitary protagonists encumbered with strained sexual relations. In the early 1950s, he had a string of memorable Broadway productions, including Picnic, which earned him a Pulitzer Prize. With his portraits of small-town life and settings rooted in the American heartland, Inge became known as the "Playwright of the Midwest." Inge was born in Independence, the fifth child of Maude Sarah Gibson-Inge and Luther Clay Inge. Inge attended Independence Community College and graduated from the University of Kansas in 1935 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Drama. While at the University of Kansas, Inge was a member of the Nu Chapter of Sigma Nu. Offered a scholarship to work on a Master of Arts degree, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to attend the George Peabody College for Teachers, but dropped out. Back in Kansas, he worked as a laborer on a Wichita news announcer. From 1937 to 1938 he taught English and drama at Cherokee County Community High School in Columbus, Kansas.
After returning and completing his Master's at Peabody in 1938, he taught at Stephens College, in Columbia, from 1938 to 1943. Inge began as a drama critic at the St. Louis Star-Times in 1943. With Tennessee Williams's encouragement, Inge wrote his first play, Farther Off from Heaven, staged at Margo Jones' Theatre'47 in Dallas, Texas. While a teacher at Washington University in St. Louis in 1946–1949, he wrote Come Back, Little Sheba, it ran on Broadway for 190 performances in 1950, winning Tony Awards for Shirley Booth and Sidney Blackmer. It was while teaching at Washington University that Inge's struggles with alcoholism became more acute and, in 1947, he joined Alcoholics Anonymous, it was through AA that Inge met the wife of a member of his AA group whose name was Lola and, who through name as well as personal characteristics, was the person upon whom one of the lead characters in Come Back, Little Sheba, "Lola", was based. As Come Back, Little Sheba was in a pre-Broadway run in early 1950, Inge was filled with some doubt as to its success, as he expressed in a letter to his sponsor in Alcoholics Anonymous, "If Sheba makes it in Hartford I guess it will go on to Broadway and if it doesn't I suppose I'll be back in St. Louis.
If it does make it to Broadway, I don't know when I'll be back." Inge never had to return to St. Louis. In 1953, Inge received a Pulitzer Prize for Picnic, a play based on women he had known as a small child: When I was a boy in Kansas, my mother had a boarding house. There were three women school teachers living in the house. I was four years old, they were nice to me. I liked them. I saw their attempts, as a child, I sensed every woman’s failure. I began to sense the sorrow and the emptiness in their lives, it touched me. Picnic had a successful Broadway run from February 19, 1953, to April 10, 1954. A film adaptation made in 1955 won two Academy Awards. In 1953 Inge's short play Glory in the Flower was telecast on Omnibus with a cast of Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, James Dean. In 1955 his play Bus Stop premiered. Inge's inspiration of boy-pursuing-girl came a similar situation he'd seen on a bus trip to Kansas City. Nominated for four Tony Awards including Best Play, it was made into a 1956 film starring Marilyn Monroe.
A major regional revival of Bus Stop was held at the Huntington Theatre in Boston in September and October 2010. In 1957 he wrote The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, an expansion of his earlier one-act, Farther Off from Heaven; the play was nominated for five Tony Awards including Best Play, was adapted as a film in 1960. His 1959 play A Loss of Roses, with Carol Haney, Warren Beatty, Betty Field, was filmed as The Stripper, with Joanne Woodward, Richard Beymer, Claire Trevor, a popular Jerry Goldsmith score. Natural Affection had the misfortune to open on Broadway during the 1962 New York City newspaper strike, which lasted from December 8, 1962, until April 1, 1963. Thus, few were aware of the play, fewer bought tickets, it lasted only 36 performances, from January 31, 1963, to March 2, 1963. What theatergoers missed was a drama exploring themes of fragmented families and random violence; as with Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, the inspiration for Natural Affection came from a newspaper account of a meaningless and unmotivated murder.
The play centers on Chicago department-store buyer Sue Barker. While troubled teen Donnie, Sue's illegitimate son, has been away at reform school, she has entered into a relationship with Cadillac salesman Bernie Slovenk. With Donnie's unexpected return to her Chicago apartment, conflicts escalate, Donnie finds himself on an emotional precipice; the closing five minutes of the play introduces a new character, a young woman Donnie meets in the apartment hallway. He invites her into the apartment and, without warning, kills her as the curtains close; the Broadway production, directed by Tony Richardson, benefited from composer John Lewis's made-to-order background music, provided via tape recordings, rather than live performance, worked in the same fashion as a film score. In 2005 a successful revival of Natural Affection was mounted at Chicago's The Artistic Home. Directed by John Mossman, it was named one of the year's best productions by the Chicago Tribune. Inge's The Last Pad premiered in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1972.
Titled The Disposal, the world premiere of
Princeton, New Jersey
Princeton is a municipality with a borough form of government in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States, established in its current form on January 1, 2013, through the consolidation of the Borough of Princeton and Princeton Township. As of the 2010 United States Census, the municipality's population was 28,572, reflecting the former township's population of 16,265, along with the 12,307 in the former borough. Princeton was founded before the American Revolution, it is the home of Princeton University, which bears its name and moved to the community in 1756 from its previous location in Newark. Although its association with the university is what makes Princeton a college town, other important institutions in the area include the Institute for Advanced Study, Westminster Choir College, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton Theological Seminary, Opinion Research Corporation, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Siemens Corporate Research, SRI International, FMC Corporation, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Amrep and Dwight, Berlitz International, Dow Jones & Company.
Princeton is equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia. It is close to many major highways that serve both cities, receives major television and radio broadcasts from each, it is close to Trenton, New Jersey's capital city, Edison. The New Jersey governor's official residence has been in Princeton since 1945, when Morven in what was Princeton Borough became the first Governor's mansion, it was replaced by the larger Drumthwacket, a colonial mansion located in the former Township. Morven became a museum property of the New Jersey Historical Society. Princeton was ranked 15th of the top 100 towns in the United States to Live and Work In by Money Magazine in 2005. Throughout much of its history, the community was composed of two separate municipalities: a township and a borough; the central borough was surrounded by the township. The borough seceded from the township in 1894 in a dispute over school taxes. Princeton Borough contained Nassau Street, the main commercial street, most of the University campus, incorporated most of the urban area until the postwar suburbanization.
The borough and township had equal populations. The Lenni Lenape Native Americans were the earliest identifiable inhabitants of the Princeton area. Europeans founded their settlement in the late part of the 17th century; the first European to find his home in the boundaries of the future town was Henry Greenland. He built his house in 1683 along with a tavern. In this drinking hole representatives of West Jersey and East Jersey met to set boundaries for the location of the township. Princeton was known only as part of nearby Stony Brook. Nathaniel Fitz Randolph, a native of the town, attested in his private journal on December 28, 1758, that Princeton was named in 1724 upon the making/construction of the first house in the area by James Leonard, who first referred to the town as Princetown when describing the location of his large estate in his diary; the town bore a variety of names subsequently, including: Princetown, Prince's Town and Princeton. Although there is no official documentary backing, the town is considered to be named after King William III, Prince William of Orange of the House of Nassau.
Another theory suggests that the name came from a large land-owner named Henry Prince, but no evidence backs this contention. A royal prince seems a more eponym for the settlement, as three nearby towns had similar names: Kingston and Princessville; when Richard Stockton, one of the founders of the township, died in 1709 he left his estate to his sons, who helped to expand property and the population. Based on the 1880 United States Census, the population of the town comprised 3,209 persons. Local population has expanded from the nineteenth century. According to the 2010 Census, Princeton Borough had 12,307 inhabitants, while Princeton Township had 16,265; the numbers have become stagnant. Aside from housing the university of the same name, the settlement suffered the revolutionary Battle of Princeton in 1777, when George Washington forced the British to evacuate southern New Jersey. After the victory, the town hosted the first Legislature under the State Constitution to decide the State's seal and organization of its government.
In addition, two of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence—Richard Stockton and John Witherspoon lived in Princeton. Princetonians honored their citizens' legacy by naming two streets in the downtown area after them. On January 10, 1938 Henry Ewing Hale called for a group of citizens to discuss opening a "Historical Society of Princeton." The Bainbridge House would be dedicated for this purpose. The house was used once for a meeting of Continental Congress in 1783, a general office, as the Princeton Public Library; the House is owned by Princeton University and is leased to the Princeton Historical Society for one dollar per year. The house has kept its original staircase and paneled walls. Around 70% of the house has been unaltered. Aside from safety features such as wheelchair access and electrical work, the house was has been restored to its original look. During the most stirring events in its history, Princeton was a wide spot in the ro
Dianne Elizabeth Reeves is an American jazz singer. Commentator Scott Yanow said of her: "A logical successor to Dinah Washington and Carmen McRae, Reeves is a superior interpreter of lyrics and a skilled scat singer." Dianne Reeves was born into a musical family. Her father sang, her mother played trumpet, her uncle is bassist Charles Burrell, her cousin is George Duke. Although she was born in Detroit, she was raised in Denver. In 1971 she started playing piano, she was a member of her high school band, while performing at a convention in Chicago was noticed by trumpeter Clark Terry, who invited her to sing with him: "He had these amazing all-star bands, but I had no idea who they all were! The thing I loved about it was the way they interacted with each other - the kind of intimate exchange that I wasn't part of. For a young singer, it was fertile soil." She studied classical voice at the University of Colorado for a time moved to Los Angeles, where she sang with Stanley Turrentine and Lenny White.
She became a member of the jazz fusion group Caldera founded another fusion group, Night Flight, with Billy Childs, with whom she would collaborate again in the 1990s. She moved from 1983 to 1986 toured with Harry Belafonte, she signed with Blue Note Records in 1987, staying with the label until 2009, she subsequently signed with Concord Records. In the late 1980s, she had major success with a crossover song called "Better Days" times referred to as "The Grandma Song", because she pays homage to grandmother in that song. In 2005, she featured in the George Clooney film Good Night, And Good Luck singing 1950s standards, in 2006 the album of the soundtrack won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Studio albums1982: Welcome to My Love 1984: For Every Heart 1985: Ballerina 1987: Dianne Reeves 1988: The Nearness of You 1990: Never Too Far 1991: I Remember 1994: Art & Survival 1994: Quiet After the Storm 1996: The Grand Encounter 1997: That Day... 1999: Bridges 2001: The Calling: Celebrating Sarah Vaughan 2003: A Little Moonlight 2008: When You Know 2013: Beautiful LifeChristmas albums2004: Christmas Time Is HereSoundtrack albums2005: Good Night, Good LuckLive albums1997: New Morning 2000: In the Moment – Live in ConcertCompilation albums1996: The Palo Alto Sessions 1981-1985 2002: The Best of Dianne Reeves 2006: Music for Lovers 2005: Appeared as jazz singer in Good Night, Good Luck 2005: Dianne Reeves "Live in Montreal" 2008: Dianne Reeves: The Early Years with Billy Childs and Snooky Young Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Female: 2001: In the Moment – Live In Concert 2002: The Calling: Celebrating Sarah Vaughan 2004: A Little Moonlight 2006: Good Night, Good Luck 2015: Beautiful Life 2003: Honorary doctorate, Berklee College of Music 2015: Best Album, Jazz FM Awards, Beautiful Life 2015: Honorary doctorate, The Juilliard School 2018: NEA Jazz Masters Official website Interview video Bamboo-music.com, March 2008.
Thierry Quénum, "In Conversation with Dianne Reeves", Jazz.com, June 15, 2008 Felix Contreras, "Dianne Reeves: A Jazz Voice With Pop Sensibilities", NPR, February 1, 2011
Our Town is a 1938 metatheatrical three-act play by American playwright Thornton Wilder. It tells the story of the fictional American small town of Grover's Corners between 1901 and 1913 through the everyday lives of its citizens. Throughout, Wilder uses metatheatrical devices, setting the play in the actual theatre where it is being performed; the main character is the stage manager of the theatre who directly addresses the audience, brings in guest lecturers, fields questions from the audience, fills in playing some of the roles. The play is performed without a set on a bare stage. With a few exceptions, the actors mime actions without the use of props. Our Town was first performed at McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey in 1938, it went on to success on Broadway and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It remains popular today and revivals are frequent; the Stage Manager introduces the audience to the small town of Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, the people living there as a morning begins in the year 1901.
Professor Willard speaks to the audience about the history of the town. Joe Crowell delivers the paper to Doc Gibbs, Howie Newsome delivers the milk, the Webb and Gibbs households send their children off to school on this beautifully simple morning. Three years have passed, George and Emily prepare to wed; the day is filled with stress. Howie Newsome is delivering milk in the pouring rain while Si Crowell, younger brother of Joe, laments how George's baseball talents will be squandered. George pays an awkward visit to his soon-to-be in-laws. Here, the Stage Manager interrupts the scene and takes the audience back a year, to the end of Emily and George's junior year. Emily confronts George about his pride, over an ice cream soda, they discuss the future and they confess their love for each other. George decides not to go to college, as he had planned, but to work and take over his uncle's farm. In the present and Emily say that they are not ready to marry—George to his mother, Emily to her father—but they both calm down and go through with the wedding.
Nine years have passed. The Stage Manager opens the act with a lengthy monologue emphasizing eternity, bringing the audience's attention to the cemetery outside of town and the characters who have died since the wedding, including Mrs. Gibbs, Wally Webb, Mrs. Soames, Simon Stimson. Town undertaker Joe Stoddard is introduced, as is a young man named Sam Craig who has returned to Grover's Corners for his cousin's funeral; that cousin is Emily, who died giving birth to George's second child. Once the funeral ends, Emily emerges to join the dead. Ignoring the warnings of Simon, Mrs. Soames, Mrs. Gibbs, Emily returns to Earth to relive one day, her 12th birthday. Emily watches with joy at being able to see her parents and some of the people of her childhood for the first time in years. However, her joy turns to pain as she realizes how little people appreciate the simple joys of life; the memory proves too painful for her, she realizes that every moment of life should be treasured. When she asks the Stage Manager if anyone understands the value of life while they live it, he responds, "No.
The saints and poets, maybe—they do some." Emily returns to her grave next to Mrs. Gibbs and watches impassively as George kneels weeping over her; the Stage Manager wishes the audience a good night. Stage Manager – a narrator and guide through Grover's Corners, he joins in the action of the play periodically, as the minister at the wedding, the soda shop owner, a local townsman, etc. and speaks directly to Emily after her death. Emily Webb – one of the main characters. George Gibbs – the other main character. Frank Gibbs – George's father, the town doctor. Julia Gibbs – George's mother, she doesn't get there. She saved $350 for the trip from the sale of an antique furniture piece but willed it to George and Emily. Dies while visiting her daughter in Ohio. Charles Webb – Emily's father, Editor of the Grover's Corners Sentinel Myrtle Webb – Emily and Wally’s mother. Secondary characters Joe and Si Crowell – local paperboys. Joe's intelligence earns him a full scholarship to MIT, his promise will be cut short on the fields of France during World War I, according to the Stage Manager.
Both he and his brother Si hold marriage in high disdain. Simon Stimson – the choir director and church organist. We never learn the specific cause of his alcoholism and suicide, although Joe Stoddard, the undertaker, observes that "He's seen a peck of troubles." He remains bitter and cynical beyond the grave. Howie Newsome – the milkman, a fixture of Grover's Corners. Rebecca Gibbs – George's younger sister. Elopes with a traveling salesman and settles in Ohio. Wally Webb – Emily's younger brother. Dies of a burst appendix on a Boy Scout camping trip. Professor Willard – a rather long-winded lecturer Woman in Auditorium – concerned with temperance Man in Auditorium – concerned with social justice Another Woman in Auditorium – concerned with culture and beauty Mrs. Louella Soames – a gossipy townswoman and member of the choir Constable Bill Warren – the policeman Three Baseball Players – who mock George at t
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
James Maitland Stewart was an American actor and military officer, among the most honored and popular stars in film history. With a career spanning 62 years, Stewart was a major Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player, known for his distinctive drawl and down-to-earth persona, which helped him portray American middle-class men struggling in crisis. Many of the films in which he starred have become enduring classics. Stewart was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one for The Philadelphia Story, received an Academy Lifetime Achievement award in 1985. In 1999, Stewart was named the third-greatest male screen legend of the Golden Age of Hollywood by the American Film Institute, behind Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant; the American Film Institute has named five of Stewart's films to its list of the 100 best American films made. He had a noted military career and was a World War II and Vietnam War veteran and pilot, who rose to the rank of Brigadier General in the United States Air Force Reserve, becoming the highest-ranking actor in military history.
In 1985, Stewart was promoted to Major General, reserve list by President Ronald Reagan, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. James Maitland Stewart was born on May 20, 1908, in Indiana, the son of Elizabeth Ruth and Alexander Maitland Stewart, who owned a hardware store. Stewart was raised as a Presbyterian, he was descended from veterans of the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the American Civil War. The eldest of three children, young Jimmy was expected to one day inherit his father's store and continue a business, in the family for three generations, his mother was an excellent pianist. When his father once accepted a gift of an accordion from a guest, Stewart learned to play the instrument, which became a fixture offstage during his acting career; as the family grew, music continued to be an important part of family life. Stewart attended Mercersburg Academy prep school, graduating in 1928, he was active in a variety of activities. He played on the football and track teams, was art editor of the KARUX yearbook, a member of the choir club, glee club, John Marshall Literary Society.
During his first summer break, Stewart returned to his hometown to work as a brick loader for a local construction company and on highway and road construction jobs where he painted lines on the roads. Over the following two summers, he took a job as an assistant with a professional magician, he made his first appearance as Buquet in the play The Wolves. A shy child, Stewart spent much of his after-school time in the basement working on model airplanes, mechanical drawing, chemistry—all with a dream of going into aviation, it was a dream enhanced by the legendary 1927 flight of Charles Lindbergh, whose progress 19-year-old Stewart stricken with scarlet fever, was avidly following from home, foreshadowing his starring movie role as Lindbergh 30 years later. However, he abandoned visions of being a pilot when his father insisted that instead of the United States Naval Academy he attend Princeton University. Stewart enrolled at Princeton in 1928 as a member of the class of 1932, he excelled at studying architecture, so impressing his professors with his thesis on an airport design that he was awarded a scholarship for graduate studies, but he became attracted to the school's drama and music clubs, including the Princeton Triangle Club.
His acting and accordion talents at Princeton led him to be invited to the University Players, an intercollegiate summer stock company in West Falmouth, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. The company had been organized in 1928 and would run until 1932, with Joshua Logan, Bretaigne Windust and Charles Leatherbee as directors. Stewart performed in bit parts in the Players' productions in Cape Cod during the summer of 1932, after he graduated; the troupe had included Henry Fonda and Margaret Sullavan. Stewart and Fonda became close friends over the summer of 1932 when they shared an apartment with Joshua Logan and Myron McCormick; when Stewart came to New York at the end of the summer stock season, which had included the Broadway tryout of Goodbye Again, he shared an apartment with Fonda, who had by finalized his divorce from Sullavan. Along with fellow University Players Alfred Dalrymple and Myron McCormick, Stewart debuted on Broadway in the brief run of Carry Nation and a few weeks – again with McCormick and Dalrymple – as a chauffeur in the comedy Goodbye Again, in which he had two lines.
The New Yorker commented, "Mr. James Stewart's chauffeur... comes on for three minutes and walks off to a round of spontaneous applause." The play was a moderate success. Many Broadway theaters had been converted to movie houses and the Depression was reaching bottom. "From 1932 through 1934", Stewart recalled, "I'd only worked three months. Every play I got into folded." By 1934, he was given more substantial stage roles, including the modest hit Page Miss Glory and his first dramatic stage role in Sidney Howard's Yellow Jack, which convinced him to continue his acting career. However and Fonda, still roommates, were both struggling. In the fall of 1934, Fonda's success in The Farmer Takes. Stewart attracted the interest of MGM scout Bill Grady who saw Stewart on the opening night of Divided by Three, a glittering première with many luminaries in attendance, including Irving
George Balanchine was a Russian-born Georgian-American ballet choreographer, one of the most influential 20th century choreographers. Styled as the father of American ballet, he co-founded the New York City Ballet and remained its Artistic Director for more than 35 years. Balanchine took the standards and technique from his time at the Imperial Ballet School and fused it with other schools of movement that he had adopted during his tenure on Broadway and in Hollywood, creating his signature "neoclassical style", he was a choreographer known for his musicality. Balanchine was invited to America in 1933 by a young arts patron named Lincoln Kirstein, together they founded the School of American Ballet. Along with Kirstein, Balanchine co-founded the New York City Ballet. Balanchine was born Giorgi Melitonovitch Balanchivadze in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire, son of Georgian opera singer and composer Meliton Balanchivadze, one of the founders of the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre and the culture minister of the Democratic Republic of Georgia, which became independent in 1918 but was subsumed into the Soviet Union.
The rest of the Georgian side of Balanchine's family comprised artists and soldiers. Little is known of Balanchine's maternal side, his mother, Meliton's second wife, Maria Nikolayevna Vasilyeva, was fond of ballet and viewed it as a form of social advancement from the lower reaches of St. Petersburg society, she was eleven years younger than Meliton and rumored to have been his former housekeeper, although "she had at least some culture in her background" as she could play piano well. As a child, Balanchine was not interested in ballet, but his mother insisted that he audition with his sister Tamara, who shared her mother's interest in the art. Balanchine's brother Andria Balanchivadze instead followed his father's love for music and became a composer in Soviet Georgia. Tamara's career, would be cut short by her death in unknown circumstances as she was trying to escape on a train from besieged Leningrad to Georgia. Based on his audition, during 1913, Balanchine relocated from rural Finland to Saint Petersburg and was accepted into the Imperial Ballet School, principal school of the Imperial Ballet, where he was a student of Pavel Gerdt and Samuil Andrianov.
After graduating in 1921, Balanchine enrolled in the Petrograd Conservatory while working in the corps de ballet at the State Academic Theater for Opera and Ballet. His studies at the conservatory included advanced piano, music theory, counterpoint and composition. Balanchine graduated from the conservatory during 1923, danced as a member of the corps until 1924. While still in his teens, Balanchine choreographed a pas de deux named La Nuit; this was followed by another duet, with the dancers in bare feet rather than ballet shoes. During 1923, with fellow dancers, Balanchine formed the Young Ballet. On a 1924 visit to Germany with the Soviet State Dancers, his wife, Tamara Geva, dancers Alexandra Danilova and Nicholas Efimov fled to Paris, where there was a large Russian community. At this time, the impresario Sergei Diaghilev invited Balanchine to join the Ballets Russes as a choreographer. Diaghilev soon encouraged his choreography. Between 1924 and Diaghilev's death in 1929, Balanchine created nine ballets, as well as lesser works.
During these years, he worked with composers such as Sergei Prokofiev, Igor Stravinsky, Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, Maurice Ravel, artists who designed sets and costumes, such as Pablo Picasso, Georges Rouault, Henri Matisse, creating new works that combined all the arts. Among his new works, during 1928 in Paris, Balanchine premiered Apollon musagète in a collaboration with Stravinsky, he described it as "the turning point in my life". Apollo is regarded as the original neoclassical ballet. Apollo brought the male dancer to the forefront. Apollo is known for its minimalism, utilizing simple sets; this allowed the audience not to be distracted from the movement. Balanchine considered music to be the primary influence on choreography, as opposed to the narrative. Suffering a serious knee injury, Balanchine had to limit his dancing ending his performance career. After Diaghilev's death, the Ballets Russes went bankrupt. Balanchine himself served as a resident choreographer of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
To earn money, Balanchine began to stage dances for Charles B. Cochran's revues and Sir Oswald Stoll's variety shows in London, he was retained by the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen as a guest ballet master. Among his new works for the company were Danses Concertantes, a pure dance piece to music by Stravinsky. In 1931, with the help from financier Serge Denham, René Blum and Colonel Wassily de Basil formed the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, a successor to Ballets Russes; the new company hired Leonide Balanchine as choreographers. Featured dancers included Tatiana Riabouchinska. In 1933, without consulting Blum, Col