Heather Watts (Fall ’14) joined New York City Ballet in 1970 and was one of the last dancers to be promoted to principal dancer by George Balanchine. Watts worked closely with Balanchine and Jerome Robbins at NYCB and was an acclaimed international ballet star, retiring from the stage in 1995. Watts has been a contributing editor at Vanity Fair magazine since 1995. She has created academic courses on Balanchine’s life and work at Harvard University, was the Class of 1932 Visiting Lecturer in Dance at Princeton University, and has led a Balanchine Dance Education Laboratory at UC Santa Barbara. She has received numerous awards for arts education and dance, and, in 2012, Watts received a Doctorate in Fine Arts honoris causa from Hunter College.
George Balanchine’s 21st Century Influence
At the Center, Watts examined how Balanchine’s innovations, impact and musical approaches apply in the 21st century, through an analysis of Balanchine’s ballets and using the lens’ of biography, context and form. Her research aims to move dance forward by developing applications for the work in all possible settings from the stage, to classrooms, to technology resources.
Heather Watts was a 2014 Fall Fellow and a 2015 Spring Affiliate at the Center.