The Kennedy Center

Peter Martins


Danish-born Peter Martins has spent more than 30 years with the New York City Ballet as a dancer, choreographer and Ballet Master. Martins' association with the Company began in 1967, when he was invited to dance the title role in George Balanchine's Apollo during its appearance at the Edinburgh Festival. He performed as a guest artist with the New York City Ballet for three years before joining as a Principal Dancer in 1970. During his career as a dancer, from which he retired in 1983, Martins danced a tremendous variety of roles. In 1981, Martins assumed the position of Ballet Master, a title he shared with George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and John Taras. From 1983 to 1989, Martins and Robbins served as Co-Ballet Masters-in-Chief of New York City Ballet, sharing the responsibility of overseeing the smooth operation of the Company. Numbering approximately 90 dancers, the Company counts more than 150 works by Balanchine, Robbins, Martins and others in its active repertory. In 1990, Martins assumed sole directorship of the Company. He has created more than 75 ballets - primarily for the New York City Ballet. His autobiography Far From Denmark was published by Little, Brown in 1982. Martins was made a Knight of The Order of Dannebrog by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark in September of 1983.
Photo of Peter Martins