Jennifer Homans to Lead the New Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University

homansNew York University has announced the establishment of the Center for Ballet and the Arts, for both the study of and creation of ballets. The university states that the new organization is the first academic center for the study of ballet in the world. The stated mission of the new center is to “inspire new ideas and new dances, expanding the way we think about ballet and bringing vitality to its history, practice, and performance in the twenty-first century.” The center was established with the help of a $2 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Jennifer Homans has been named director of the new center. She is a scholar-in-residence at the university and the author of Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet (Random House, 2010).

“The idea was really how to bring together the world of ballet as a performing art with the world of the university as a major research institution,” Homans said. “The point of the center is to create new ballet and new scholarships — better ballet and better books.”

“Ballet today is adrift, in part because it is perceived as elite and inaccessible,” Homans added. “Our goal at the Center for Ballet and the Arts is twofold. To break open the increasingly narrow world of ballet as a performing art and bring to it new ideas and the full resources of a major resource university, and to bring ballet into the university as a serious subject of study and research, establishing it as a field within the arts and sciences.

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