See also category: Ballets by George Balanchine
George Balanchine (January 22, 1904 – April 30, 1983), born Giorgi Melitonis dze Balanchivadze (Georgian: გიორგი მელიტონის ძე ბალანჩივაძე) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, to Georgian father and Russian mother, was one of the 20th century's foremost choreographers, a pioneer of ballet in the United States, co-founder and balletmaster of New York City Ballet: his work created modern ballet, based on his deep knowledge of classical forms and techniques. He was a choreographer known for his musicality; he did not illustrate music but expressed it in dance and worked extensively with Igor Stravinsky, his contemporary.
Balanchine's father, noted Georgian composer Meliton Balanchivadze (1862–1937), was one of the founders of the Georgian Opera. George's brother, Andria Balanchivadze (1906–1992), became a well-known Georgian composer. As a child, Balanchine was not particularly interested in ballet. However, his mother possessed a deep love for the art and had the young Giorgi audition with his sister, who shared her mother's passion for ballet. Since his family was mostly comprised of composers and soldiers, it was said that Balanchine could always follow family tradition and enroll in the military if it turned out he wasn't talented at dancing.