George BalanchineFrom a young age, I grew up in the world of ballet. When I was old enough to begin studying the works of certain choreographers, no one stuck out to me (or stuck with me) to the extent than that of George Balanchine. His choreography turned the conventions of classical ballet on its head; rewriting technique and musicality to create a new genre in the world of ballet. His original works such as Jewels, as well as his interpretations and reworked versions of classics such as The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, and many more led to a whole new generation of ballet dancers, with more freedom to explore the angles and sharpness often abandoned by classical ballet.
This webpage describes Balanchine's early life & career. How he began dancing, his background in music, and how he began choreographing are all highlighted.
This article by the New York Times gives a beautiful viewpoint into one of Balanchine's most famous works, Jewels. Pictured right is Sarah Lamb of Royal Opera House performing "Rubies" from Jewels.
This post on the New York City Ballet's website again gives a brief biography of Balanchine, while also delving into the technical aspects of his work, and the amazing contributions he and his work have made in the world of classical ballet.