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The Dance Historian Is In: Marina Harss on Alexei Ratmansky—Early Days

April 24 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Marina Hass discusses Alexei Ratmansky.

Alexei Ratmansky, former director of the Bolshoi, recently choreographer in residence at American Ballet Theatre, and current choreographer in residence at New York City Ballet, is one of the most important ballet choreographers working today. In her recent book The Boy from Kyiv, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Marina Harss traces his trajectory from his early days in Kyiv to his peripatetic dancing career, through his international breakthrough with The Bright Stream to the present. For this Dance Historian Is In, Harss discusses and shows video footage from Ratmansky’s days as a dancer in Ukraine, Canada, Denmark, and Russia, as well as footage of some of his first works for the stage.

For more than 10 years, The Dance Historian Is In at the Library for the Performing Arts has highlighted a diverse range of dancers and choreographers across history. This series began when archivist and historian David Vaughan started volunteering at the Jerome Robbins Dance Division. Vaughan began a monthly program showing his favorite dance films from the Division’s extensive collection, through which he unearthed many treasures, and helped acquire even more. Vaughan continued the series until the end of his life. Today, we honor his memory and work by inviting dance historians from all over the world each month to carry on the tradition of highlighting dance history through the Dance Division’s moving image collection.

Photo Credit: Alexei Ratmansky with the Danish dancer Gudrun Bojesen in 2000. Photo by Søren Hartvig Nielsen.


This event will take place online via Zoom as well as in person at The Library for the Performing Arts.

*A streaming link will be emailed to everyone on the morning of the event for those wishing to attend virtually.


SEATING POLICY | Programs are free and open to all, but registration is requested. Check-in line forms 45 minutes before the advertised start time. Registered guests are given priority check-in 15 to 30 minutes before start time. Five minutes before the advertised start time, all seats are released, regardless of registration, to our patrons in the stand-by line. If you arrive after the program starts, you will be seated at the discretion of our front-of-house staff.

STANDBY LINE | If registration is sold out or has ended, do not fret! We welcome you to come to the Library regardless of registration status and wait in our standby line, which forms 45 minutes before the advertised start time. Five minutes before the program starts, all remaining seats are released. While this is not guaranteed, we will do our best to get you into any of our programs.

ASSISTIVE LISTENING AND ASL | ASL interpretation and real-time (CART) captioning available upon request. Please submit your request at least two weeks in advance by emailing

BRUNO WALTER POLICY | Please note that any unoccupied seat will be released five minutes before the show begins and holding seats for anyone beyond that is prohibited. There is no food or drink allowed inside the venue.

AUDIO/VIDEO RECORDING | Programs may be photographed and recorded by and at the discretion of the Library for the Performing Arts and will post signs indicating as such. If you would prefer your image not be captured, please let us know and we can seat you accordingly. Attending any program indicates your consent to being filmed/photographed and your consent to the use of your recorded image for any and all purposes of the New York Public Library.

PRESS | Please send all press inquiries to Alex Teplitzky at Please note that all recording, including professional video recordings, are prohibited without expressed consent from the Library.

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