Robert Joffrey was born in Seattle, Washington in 1930 and died in New York City in 1988. He formed his first small company, the Robert Joffrey Ballet Concert, in 1954, and in 1956 he formed the Robert Joffrey Ballet with Arpino as chief choreographer. In 1966 the company became the City Center Joffrey Ballet and thereafter grew to international fame. Its name was later changed to simply the Joffrey Ballet. By the time of Joffrey's death his company was performing annually in Los Angeles as well as in New York City.