NYU Receives $2 Million From Mellon Foundation for Ballet Center

New York University has announced a $2 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of its Center for Ballet and the Arts.

The grant will cover the center's operating expenses until 2019 and enable it to expand its work as a research center devoted to the study and creation of ballet.

The center also announced its spring slate of fellows, which include distinguished individuals from the fields of choreography, theater, literature, and academia. The new fellows include Seán Curran, who will work on a suite of dances inspired by the character Lord Alfred Douglas from Theodore Morrison's opera Oscar, set at the turn of the twentieth century and based on the trials and imprisonment of Oscar Wilde; Lisa Dwan, who will examine the role of dance in Samuel Beckett's work; Francesca Harper, who will focus on an interactive work that breaks the fourth wall and invites the audience to participate in, and even shape, the piece before them; and Claudia Schreier, who will create neoclassical and contemporary ballets rooted in the classical technique, with a focus on collaboration with composers.

"The Center for Ballet and the Arts is the first international institute at a major research university that focuses on the study of ballet," said Eugene M. Tobin, senior program officer at the Mellon Foundation. "Since 2014, through its resident fellowship program, public events, and relationship with the broader arts and academic communities within the university, the center has created a passionate community of artists and scholars committed to establishing ballet as a serious object of study. We are pleased to offer continued support as the Center for Ballet and the Arts builds upon the achievements of the first two years."