1934

School of American Ballet opens at 637 Madison Avenue in New York City on January 2, with Balanchine, Dimitriev, and Kirstein as officers; Balanchine, Pierre Vladimiroff, and Dorothie Littlefield as faculty; and Edward M. M. Warburg as first patron. ― In March, Balanchine begins choreographing Serenade (Tchaikovsky) for students, who first perform it with stagings of Mozartiana and Dreams (a revision of Les Songes) at Woodland, the Warburg estate in Hartsdale, New York. ― In Hartford, Connecticut, non-professional Producing Company of the School of American Ballet, predecessor of American Ballet, presents programs that include Mozartiana and three new ballets: Serenade, Alma Mater (Swift), and Transcendence (Liszt). Balanchine, Kirstein, and Warburg establish American Ballet, with dancers from the school.

1935

In New York City, American Ballet has first professional season with official premieres of Serenade, Alma Mater, Reminiscence (Godard), and Transcendence and American premieres of Errante and Dreams [141-146]. After performances in Philadelphia, New York, and White Plains, company begins projected United States tour in Greenwich, Connecticut, which ends one week later in Scranton, Pennsylvania. — Edward Johnson, general manager of Metropolitan Opera, engages Balanchine as ballet master and American Ballet (to be called American Ballet Ensemble) as resident ballet company. — Choreographs ballets for seven opera productions [150-156] and, in first of several programs combining independent ballets with opera, presents Reminiscence with Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel.

1936

For Metropolitan Opera season, sets ballets for seven operas [158-161, 163, 167, 168]. With William Dollar, choreographs Concerto [165]; creates the ballet The Bat (Johann Strauss the Younger) [169]. Directs and choreographs the opera Orpheus and Eurydice (Gluck) [170] in a production designed by Pavel Tchelitchew that is danced throughout. — Stages first ballets for a Broadway musical, six pieces for Ziegfeld Follies: 1936 Edition (Duke) [162]. — Creates Serenata: Magic (Mozart) [164] for Hartford Festival. For Broadway, choreographs Slaughter on Tenth Avenue and other ballets to be included in the musical On Your Toes (Rodgers and Hart) [166]. Some of his dancers also appear with Ballet Caravan, a small touring company founded by Kirstein, that disbands in 1940.

1937

Choreographs opera ballets [171, 173, 174, 179] and stages and choreographs Le Coq d'Or (Rimsky-Korsakov)[172] for Metropolitan Opera. ― Prepares his first Stravinsky Festival, presented at Metropolitan Opera House for two evenings by American Ballet; revives Apollon Musagète for its first performance in America, createsThe Card Party, his and Kirstein's first commission to Stravinsky, and choreographs Le Baiser de la Fée [176-178] (see FESTIVALS DIRECTED BY BALANCHINE). ― Sets dances for Babes in Arms (Rodgers and Hart) [175]. ― Engaged by Samuel Goldwyn for first Hollywood assignment, to create dances with members of American Ballet for Goldwyn Follies (Gershwin; released 1938) [185]. ― Choreographs opera ballets for winter/spring Metropolitan Opera season [179-181].

1938

Metropolitan Opera terminates engagement of American Ballet after spring season. For Broadway, choreographs I Married an Angel and The Boys from Syracuse (Rodgers and Hart), and Great Lady (Loewe) [182-184]. Plans for Balanchine company to be sponsored by Broadway producers Dwight Deere Wiman and J. H. Del Bondio lead to rehearsals but not to production.

1939

Balanchine becomes a United States citizen. — In Hollywood, directs dances for film version of On Your Toes [186], and later directs dances for film I Was an Adventuress (released 1940) [191].

1940

In New York, stages Le Baiser de la Fée, Poker Game (The Card Party), and Serenade for Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. ― Choreographs dances for Broadway musicals Keep Off The Grass (McHugh) and Louisiana Purchase (Berlin) and stages entire production of Cabin in the Sky (Duke), collaborating with Katherine Dunham [187, 188, 190]. ― School of American Ballet is incorporated as nonprofit institution with Kirstein as President and Director and Balanchine as Chairman of Faculty.

1941

For de Basil's company, Original Ballet Russe, choreographs Balustrade (to Stravinsky's Violin Concerto) [192], first ballet created in America for company not his own. ― With Kirstein, establishes American Ballet Caravan, formed with dancers from American Ballet, Ballet Caravan (a chamber company directed by Kirstein, 1936-40), and School of American Ballet, for five-month good-will tour of Latin America arranged by Nelson A. Rockefeller, Coordinaror of Inter-American Affairs. ― Choreographs new ballets for tour: Ballet Imperial (Tchaikovsky) and Concerto Barocco (Bach; first conceived for School of American Ballet students); Divertimento (Rossini―Britten) and Fantasia Brasileira (Mignone) are choreographed in South America during tour [194-196, 200]. ― Also stages Serenata (Serenade), Alma Errante (Errante), Apolo Musageta (Apollon Musagète), and El Murciélago (The Bat) [193, 197-199]. ― Tour opens in Rio de Janeiro and continues in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela. ― Company is disbanded at end of engagement. ― In New York, stages dances for Broadway musical The Lady Comes Across (Duke/Latouche) [201].

1942

Choreographs The Ballet of the Elephants [202] to Stravinsky's Circus Polka, written at Balanchine's request for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Madison Square Garden, with cast of fifty elephants and fifty women. ― In Argentina as guest director of ballet of Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, creates choreography for opera Mârouf (Rabaud) [204], stages Apollon Musagète in new production designed by Tchelitchew, and choreographs Concierto de Mozart [205]. ― In New York, for recently formed New Opera Company, choreographs Rosalinda (Die Fledermaus, Johann Strauss the Younger) [206], choreographs for opera productions[207-211], and stages Ballet Imperial using members of former American Ballet Caravan. ― In Hollywood choreographs Johnny Mercer's 'That Old Black Magic' for film Star Spangled Rhythm [213].

1943

In first association with Ballet Theatre, founded in 1939, stages Apollo and The Wanderer (Errante) and assists David Lichine in revising Fokine's last ballet, Helen of Troy (Offenbach) [214]. ― With Leopold Stokowski and Robert Edmond Jones collaborates on production of The Crucifixion of Christ [215], a modern miracle play set to Bach's St. Matthew Passion, using students from School of American Ballet. ― Stages dances for New Opera Company production of The Merry Widow (Lehár) [216] and for Broadway musical comedy What's Up (Loewe) [217]. ― Plans resident company in New York to give performances on Sunday evenings, but project does not materialize. ― Stages Concerto Barocco for American Concert Ballet, company formed by members of former American Ballet Caravan.

1944

Choreographs ballet sequences for Broadway musical comedy Dream with Music (Warnick) [218]. In Los Angeles, creates dances for operetta Song of Norway [219] to music by Edvard Grieg using dancers from Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Begins two-year association with that company as resident choreographer; first original work for company is Danses Concertantes (Stravinsky) [220]; stages new version of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (Richard Strauss) [221]. — To honor his twenty-fifth year as choreographer, Chicago Public Library mounts exhibition. — Choreographs Waltz Academy (Rieti) [222], his first original work for Ballet Theatre.

1945

Devises movement sequences for role of Ariel in Broadway production of Shakespeare's The Tempest [224] directed by Margaret Webster. ― Dance Index, the magazine founded by Kirstein in 1942, devotes February-March issue to a study of Balanchine's work including his own 'Notes on Choreography.' ― Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo celebrates Balanchine's twenty-fifth year as choreographer with two full evenings of his work; for the occasion he creates Pas de Deux (Tchaikovsky) [225] and stages Ballet Imperial and Mozartiana. ― In Mexico City, with former American Ballet Caravan members and advanced students of School of American Ballet, choreographs ballets for productions of the Ópera Nacional, Palacio de Bellas Artes [226-228], and stages ballets including Concerto Barocco and Apollo. ― Choreographs dances for Broadway musical Mr. Strauss Goes to Boston (Johann Strauss the Younger-- Stolz) [229]. ― Choreographs Circus Polka (Stravinsky), Élégie (Stravinsky) and Symphonie Concertante. (Mozart) [230, 245, 241] for Carnegie Hall performance with students of School of American Ballet for Adventure in Ballet, Kirstein's first enterprise in ballet following his return from wartime service.