Under the leadership of first George Balanchine and now Peter Martins, SAB boasts a long tradition of fostering and developing the talents of emerging choreographers.
- Since the mid-1960s, the School has invited new choreographers to create original works on students for inclusion in SAB's annual Workshop Performances.
- In the 1980s, Peter Martins introduced annual choreographic workshops at which outside choreographers were invited to create works on students to be performed in a closed-workshop setting.
- In the late 1990s, Martins altered the format of the annual choreography workshops and limited the choreographer and dancer participants to SAB students only.
Student Choreography Project
In 1997, Peter Martins initiated the School's Student Choreography Project to provide students enrolled in the Intermediate and Advanced Divisions with the opportunity to explore the art of choreography by working with fellow students.
Each fall, students are invited to apply as choreographers. Selected students consult with SAB's music instructor on their music selections and select up to four dancers from SAB's Advanced Division on whom they will choreograph a short ballet. Student choreographers are allotted studio rehearsal time over a two week period, culminating in a series of performances in a workshop setting for faculty, staff, fellow students, parents and friends of the School.
Female Choreography Project
Recognizing that relatively few women enter the field of choreography, SAB launched the Female Choreography Project in 2014 through support from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. The project empowers advanced female dancers at SAB to explore choreography and consider it as a career path as they create works, experience performances by professional female choreographers, and interact with and learn from these women. Female choreographers may also receive need-based scholarships toward their training as well as toe shoe subsidies.
The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Evening for Female Choreography is an opportunity for SAB’s female choreographers to apply the lessons learned throughout the year. Female choreographers refine their ballets from the Student Choreography Project, rehearse during reserved times in SAB’s studios, and present their works for an audience in this winter/spring event. Taylor, age 18, said, “I am so thankful to have had the rare chance to choreograph on a spectacular set of dancers. The February showing was particularly enjoyable because I was able to revise and improve my choreography.”
New York Choreographic Institute
SAB students are periodically invited to participate as dancers or, on occasion, choreographers in the semiannual sessions of the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet.