Lauren King

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New York City: On April 1, 2024, in the NYCB studios at Lincoln Center, New York, former soloist Colleen Neary and former principal dancer Adam Luders, NYCB, coached two of the five principal roles in The Four Temperaments (title later shortened to Four Temperaments), working with NYCB soloists Emily Kikta (Choleric) and Davide Riccardo, supported by Christina Clark, Naomi Corti, Savannah Durham, and Malorie Lundgren (Phlegmatic). NYCB Solo Pianist Elaine Chelton accompanied the video session, after which the two coaches were interviewed by critic Robert Greskovic. Both coaches had worked extensively with Balanchine while preparing the telecast of the complete work on "Dance in America" in 1977. Paul Boos, Archives Director, will supervise the video recording, assisted by Founding Director Nancy Reynolds.

Phlegmatic was the first important role in NYCB for Danish-born Adam Luders. In 1978, NYTimes critic Anna Kisselgoff wrote, "An outstanding performance is now offered by Adam Luders in Phlegmatic. [His] natural elegance does not take away a sharp new edge of helplessness." In 1999 Luders told Times's Jennifer Dunning, "It was a role that I kept evolving in and moving around in. It became like a part of my skin." At some point, Balanchine rechoreographed part of the solo for him. Todd Bolender, originator of the title role (and the subject of a GBF archive video recorded September 15, 1997) told Luders that Balanchine had put back some of his original choreography, discarded for later dancers, when Luders performed it. Luders said, "He was always very concerned that the performer look good [in a role]. He was willing to redo things for that person."

Of Choleric, Neary has written (2024), "Choleric is always a challenge, as the energy, speed, and interpretation are huge. It is literally like being shot out of a cannon. After waiting the entire ballet you have to listen to one note and run out with immense energy and pose with strength. Balanchine used to say you have to show Choleric in the movement but finish every step very sharply and on the music, like a clap of thunder. I often would go in a studio upstairs during the ballet and do the entire variation before going on stage so I had it in my body with full energy and stamina, and it helped!"

The Four Temperaments has long been acknowledged as one of Balanchine's most significant--not to mention enduring--creations, not only for its singularly inventive choreography but as a harbinger of his artistic futurity. Premiered in 1946 on a high-school stage in New York by Ballet Society, the forerunner of NYCB, it has been regularly performed by ballet companies large and small throughout much of the ballet-loving world almost from its inception. Immediately after its premiere, the noted critic Edwin Denby was moved to write, "no choreography was ever more serious, more vigorous, more wide in scope or penetrating in imagination" (Dance News, December, 1946).

The GBF Video Archives document the insights of dancers, often principals from original casts or those who worked closely with Balanchine. The Archives mission is to preserve this knowledge and pass it on to today's dancers, scholars, and audiences. The Archives are available world-wide through public and university libraries, and digitally through the George Balanchine Foundation website for those working in the dance field and using these resources in their work. In addition, the interview components can be accessed on the Balanchine Foundation's YouTube channel.


ADAM LUDERS began his ballet training at the Royal Danish Ballet School and became a member of the Royal Danish Ballet in 1968. He was a principal dancer with London Festival Ballet (1973–5) and NYCB (1975–94) creating roles in Balanchine's Davidsbündertänze, Kammermusik No. 2, and Walpurgisnacht, as well as Robbins's In Memory of..., among others. Since retiring he has taught widely, including at SAB, and staged Balanchine repertory for the George Balanchine Trust. Trained in the Bournonville tradition, Luders was the classic ‘danseur noble’. He is part of the last generation of dancers who worked closely with Balanchine at the NYCB and has danced most of the Balanchine and Robbins repertoire. Luders is famous for his skill in pas de deux, and he has partnered most of Balanchine’s ballerinas as well other international stars. For the Interpreters Archive he has coached the first movement of Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet and excerpts from Davidsbündlertänze, Ballade, Kammermusik No. 2, Orpheus and Vienna Waltzes.

COLLEEN NEARY danced for George Balanchine at NYCB in a wide-ranging repertoire, most notably in roles created for her in Kammermusik No. 2 and Gaspard de la Nuit, as well as L’Enfant et les Sortilèges and a short solo in Cortège Hongrois. As a guest principal artist with Maurice Béjart’s Le Ballet de XXe Siècle, Béjart created four diverse roles for Ms. Neary. In the comical farce Le Concour, he showcased her innate sense of humor and timing. Ms. Neary developed further in the Balanchine canon as a principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet; where she expanded her repertory to include Odette/Odile, Tudor’s ballets Lilac Garden and Dark Elegies and several roles created on her by director Kent Stowell. Ms. Neary is a répétiteur for the Balanchine Trust. She is the author of an essay on Balanchine's Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet in the book Balanchine: Celebrating A Life In Dance (Tide-mark Press, 2003). In 2004, Ms. Neary and her husband, Aage Thordal Christensen, founded Los Angeles Ballet, of which they remained co-artistic directors for the following decade. Ms. Neary has coached for the Video Archives Kammermusik No. 2 with Mr. Luders.

EMILY KIKTA, promoted to soloist with the NYCB in 2022, began her dance training in Pittsburgh, PA. She continued her training at SAB. In 2010 Ms. Kikta became an apprentice at NYCB and in 2011 a member of the corps de ballet. She appears in leading roles in the repertory of Balanchine, Robbins, Martins, Forsythe, Ratmansky and others. Ms. Kikta is also the Female Choreography Fellow at SAB. This is Ms. Kikta's second participation in the Video Archives; her first was being coached in the first movement in Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet by Gloria Govrin.

DAVIDE RICCARDO is a soloist with the NYCB. He was born in Messina, Italy and began his dance training there as a pupil of Emma Prioli. In 2012, he enrolled at the Rome Opera Ballet School. Mr. Riccardo entered SAB as a full-time student in 2015. In 2018, he became an apprentice with NYCB, joined the company in 2019, and was promoted to soloist in 2023. In 2018, as a student at SAB, Mr. Riccardo received the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise and the Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists. Mr. Riccardo was coached by Bart Cook and Allegra Kent in the Agon pas de deux for the the Interpreters Archive.

CHRISTINA CLARK began her training at SAB with supplemental summer programs in Chautauqua, where she studied with Patricia McBride and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, and the schools of Pacific Northwest Ballet and Boston Ballet. Ms. Clark joined the corps de ballet of the NYCB in 2017. Since then she has danced leading roles in Balanchine’s Haieff Divertimento, “Rubies” from Jewels and other works by Balanchine and Robbins.

NAOMI CORTI was born in Luxembourg and began her dance training in France, which she continued in California. She enrolled at SAB in 2014 and joined NYCB corps de ballet in 2019. Since joining the company, Ms. Corti has performed featured roles in works by Justin Peck, William Forsythe and Pam Tanowitz, among others.

SAVANNAH DURHAM began her dance training in a local North Carolina studio, supplementing her studies at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and then Boston Ballet. She enrolled at SAB in 2016 and joined NYCB corps de ballet in 2021.

MALORIE LUNDGREN, originally from Scottsdale, Arizona, joined NYCB as an apprentice in 2019 and the corps de ballet in 2020. Since joining the company, she has performed featured roles in Balanchine’s Raymonda Variations, Jerome Robbins Fancy Free, and originated a featured role in Kyle Abrahams’ Love Letter (on shuffle).


ROBERT GRESKOVIC is a freelance writer in New York City. He writes about dance for The Wall Street Journal and is the author of Ballet 101, A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving the Ballet (Hyperion). He has taught dance history and aesthetics at City College of New York, Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College and Princeton University and he has been writing about dance since 1972. He was an Associate at Ballet Review, contributed several entries for the International Encyclopedia of Dance, and his writing is included in Reading Dance (Pantheon) and in Dance in America, A Reader’s Anthology (Library of America). He served as consulting editor for Baryshnikov: in Black and White (Bloomsbury). His published writings have long focused on the works of George Balanchine and the dancers in his New York City Ballet. He was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1983 with a focus on studying dance photographs and was a two-time Dance Division Research Fellow for the New York Public Library’s Jerome Robbins Dance Division. His dance reviews and feature stories have appeared in the Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and other publications.

NANCY REYNOLDS is the founding director of the George Balanchine Video Archives. She is a former dancer with New York City Ballet and has been Director of Research for The George Balanchine Foundation since 1994, when she conceived the Video Archives program. Among her books are Repertory in Review: Forty Years of the New York City Ballet; No Fixed Points: Dance in the Twentieth Century (with Malcolm McCormick); and Remembering Lincoln. In 2013 she received a “Bessie” award for “outstanding service to the field of dance.”


PAUL BOOS, Director of the Video Archives since 2021, is a former dancer with NYCB and répétiteur for the George Balanchine Trust. His work for the Trust has been presented at several theaters, including the Maryinsky, Bolshoi, Paris Opera, La Scala, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Boston Ballet. He also guest teaches abroad and is head of the Pre-Pro Division of the Rye Ballet Conservatory.

The George Balanchine Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1983 with the goal of creating programs that educate the public and further Balanchine’s work and aesthetic. Among the GBF’s major initiatives are the Video Archives, in which dancers who worked closely with Balanchine teach and coach their roles with the dancers of today (Interpreters Archive) or recreate sections of ballets that are rarely performed or in danger of disappearing (Archive of Lost Choreography). Legendary dancers who have taken part in this project include Alicia Alonso, Jacques d’Amboise, Todd Bolender, Suzanne Farrell, Frederic Franklin, Melissa Hayden, Allegra Kent, Alicia Markova, Patricia McBride, Maria Tallchief, Violette Verdy, Patricia Wilde, Edward Villella, and others, working with dancers from such companies as New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Miami City Ballet, and San Francisco, Boston, Pacific Northwest and Suzanne Farrell ballets.


In 2007 the Foundation announced a major initiative, the online publication of the Balanchine Catalogue, a fully searchable database giving first-performance details of all known dances created by Balanchine and supplemented by lists of companies staging his ballets, a bibliography, a videography, reference resources, a database of roles Balanchine performed, and related information. The project was made possible by a leadership grant from The Jerome Robbins Foundation. An expanded and updated version, enhanced by visuals, was introduced in June 2022 (


The George Balanchine Foundation expresses its profound gratitude to the following donors: The Brown Foundation, Agnes Gund, Barbara D. Horgan, The New York State Council on the Arts, the Pettit Foundation, Nancy R. Reynolds, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Louisa Stude Sarofim; and to Leslie Tonner Curtis, The National Endowment for the Arts, Meryl Rosofsky and Stuart H. Coleman, The Evelyn Sharp Foundation, Denise Littlefield Sobel, Resa and Heiner Sussner, and I. Peter Wolff.