About The Center

The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University (CBA) is an international research institute for scholars and artists of ballet and its related arts and sciences. It exists to inspire new ideas and new ballets, expanding the way we think about the art form’s history, practice, and performance in the 21st century.


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The CBA Fellowship Program invites artists and scholars to The Center to develop self-directed projects that expand the way we think about ballet’s history, practice, and performance. Fellows come from a multitude of disciplines and bring a breadth of experience to the residency. They are not required to be experts in ballet. The fellowship provides time for fellows to do their work and a place to share their expertise and thinking with one another.

CBA’s public programming extends the conversations, work, and ideas emerging at The Center to a wider audience. Our panels, workshops, and lectures are designed to illuminate and expand our understanding of dance. Our goal is to bring together the university and the arts, the mind and the body, the seminar room and the stage.

The Kirstein Diaries (2019 Lincoln Kirstein Lecture)

May 7, 2019 6:30pm EST

Photo credit: Jay Leyda. Lincoln Kirstein. c. 1930. Gelatin silver print, 3 11/16 x 4 3/4" (9.4 x 12 cm). Gift of the artist

After Merce: Choreographers Responding to Cunningham’s Legacy

April 30, 2019 7:00pm EST

Netta Yerushalmy, Mina Nishimura, Moriah Evans, Claire Bishop, and Rashaun Mitchell. Photo by Joe Carrotta.

Afternoon of a Faun: Nijinsky, Robbins, and Antiquity

March 25, 2019 6:30pm EST

Artist Unknown
Plaque Depicting a Satyr and a Maenad
Roman, Augustan or Julio-Claudian, 27 BCE–68 CE
H. 50.8 cm; W. 44.5 cm; D. 4.4 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1912: 12.232.8a
CC0 1.0 Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Songs of Bukovina: A Conversation with Alexei Ratmansky

March 4, 2019 7:00pm EST

Christine Shevchenko and Calvin Royal III in Songs of Bukovina. Photo by Marty Sohl.

The Brain is the Dancer

October 23, 2018 2:00pm EST

Photo by Haghi Suka.

Sasha Waltz in Conversation

October 29, 2018 7:00pm EST

Ensemble from Sasha Waltz's Kreatur. Photo by Sebastian Bolesch.

Ashton and Balanchine: Parallel Lives (2018 Lincoln Kirstein Lecture featuring Alastair Macaulay)

February 5, 2018 6:00pm EST

BALANCHINE is a Trademark of The George Balanchine Trust

The Body Remembers: Memory and Dance with Alma Guillermoprieto (CBA ’17)

November 13, 2017 6:30pm EST

Seeing Agon with Heather Watts

October 2, 2017 6:00pm EST

Heather Watts and Mel Tomlinson in Agon

Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

Photo © Steven Caras

The Body and Beckett

May 11, 2017 6:00pm EST

Photo by Ella Bromblin.

Founder & Director

Jennifer Homans

“If we could create a place – a major research center – where some of the great minds of our time could come together to focus on dance and its related arts, something new and interesting might happen.”

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Photo by Ella Bromblin.


Ballet means simply ‘to dance.’ It is a form of poetic gesture.

Physically, ballet is a system of training based on a linear and geometrically proportioned organization of the human body. Ballet is intellectually expansive; it has profound connections to philosophy and mathematics, to manners and religion, to painting and fashion, and to the practices of war and the ambitions of sport. At its origins, ballet was a western art form with roots in the Renaissance. Throughout its history, it articulated a vision of society and civic culture, which was at first courtly and aristocratic and in the 20th century became public and democratic. Today, ballet is practiced world-wide and has incorporated and influenced a wide range of dance traditions and styles.

Like classical training in theater or music, ballet is a skill and a gateway: a necessary grounding for the most radical directions in art. What kinds of dances artists make with it is an open and unrestricted question.