The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU (CBA)—the first-ever international institute for scholars and artists of ballet and its related arts and sciences—is pleased to announce the creation of the Director’s Fellowship. Ballerina Allegra Kent will be the first Director’s Fellow in Fall 2018, and Joseph V. Melillo will join CBA in Spring 2019 as he steps down as executive producer of the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

The Director’s Fellowship will give a CBA residency to artists, scholars, and practitioners who have made significant contributions to the field of ballet. The fellowship will be given at the discretion of CBA’s founder and director, Jennifer Homans.

Director’s Fellows will receive access to CBA’s studio and office spaces, NYU’s academic resources, and a stipend to pursue projects of the fellow’s own imagining. While in residence, Director’s Fellows will share their perspective and expertise to further deepen the artistic and scholarly work emerging from CBA.

“It is a privilege and a gift to have the opportunity to work with these individuals who have made profound impacts on the field of dance throughout their careers,” said Homans.

CBA is delighted to welcome the 2018 – 2019 Director’s Fellows:

Fall 2018

Allegra Kent, ballerina and muse of George Balanchine and Joseph Cornell, started studying ballet at 11 with Bronislava Nijinska and Carmelita Maracci. In 1952, Balanchine invited her to New York City Ballet, where she danced for the next 30 years. Her Balanchine roles included the breathtaking airborne figure in “The Unanswered Question” section of Ivesiana. Balanchine created Bugaku for her and Edward Villella, and revived The Seven Deadly Sins and La Sonnambula for her. She also danced leading roles in Apollo, Concerto Barocco, Agon, Scotch Symphony, and Symphony in C, among many others. Jerome Robbins created roles for her in Dances at a Gathering and Dumbarton Oaks, and he cast her in other ballets, including his Afternoon of a Faun and The Concert. Currently a teacher at Barnard College, Kent is the author of several critically acclaimed books, including her autobiography, Once a Dancer. . . and her first book for children, Ballerina Swan. She is the recipient of a Dance Magazine Award, and she has written for DanceVogue, and other publications. She lives in New York City.

Spring 2019

Joseph V. Melillo, BAM executive producer since 1999, is responsible for BAM’s artistic direction, overseeing programming in all its performance spaces: the Howard Gilman Opera House, Harvey Theater, BAM Fisher, Rose Cinemas, and BAMcafé. He previously served as BAM’s producing director and founding director of the Next Wave Festival, which debuted in 1983. Currently in his 35th and final year at BAM, Melillo has in his tenure fostered the work of emerging and established artists, and forged numerous international partnerships such as DanceMotion USAsm, an international cultural engagement program of the US Department of State, produced by BAM. His awards include the Chevalier and Officier de L’ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France) and an OBE (Great Britain). Melillo has served on the US Nominating Committee for the Praemium Imperiale, a global arts prize awarded annually by the Japan Art Association. He was awarded the title of Knight of the National Order of Québec in 2016, and received the 2018 Bessies Presenter Award for Outstanding Curating. He has served on the faculty of Brooklyn College, and as a lecturer at colleges, universities, and arts agencies in the US and abroad.

About The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University
The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University is an international 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. The Center is made possible by funding and ongoing support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and additional support from New York University and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. For more information about The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU, visit