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 dances, 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 awards residencies to artists and scholars across disciplines to work on projects that expand the way we think about the history, practice, and performance of dance. Applicants are not required to be experts in ballet or dance, but must have an interest in engaging with the art forms.  The fellowship provides space, stipend, and the time to pursue rigorous work. Fellows also gain new colleagues and a broad community of artists and scholars, two communities that do not often meet.

CBA offers several opportunities for public engagement with the work and ideas about dance emerging from CBA and New York University. Click “View All Events” to learn more about these offerings, browse upcoming events, and watch content from past programs.

A Conversation with Alex Reuben (CBA ’21) and James Lasdun

November 20, 2020 1:00pm EST

Circling Around Disability in Dance: A Conversation with Alice Sheppard and Jennifer Homans

December 9, 2020 6:30pm EST

Alice Sheppard (left): Photo by Beverlie Lord/Satsun Photography.

NYU Co-Sponsored Events (Spring 2021)

Stephen Petronio Company dancers Davalois Fearon and Nicholas Sciscione in "If the Dancer Dances".

NYU Co-Sponsored Events (Spring 2020)

Mark Morris: Out Loud

November 1, 2019 7:00pm EST

Photo by Joe Carrotta.

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.

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.

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

The Brain is the Dancer

October 23, 2018 2:00pm EST

Photo by Haghi Suka.

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 Haghi Suka.


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.