This illustration is from my recently published book, Balanchine: Russian-American Ballet Master Emeritus
. I depict Balanchine leaping heaven with a joyful ballet step called saute temps-levee, carrying the lyre from his ballet Orpheus,
the Stravinsky-Balanchine collaboration that premiered in 1948. Orpheus
impelled the New York City Center board of directors to offer Lincoln Kirstein the chance to make Ballet Society into the New York City Ballet. . . . In my drawing, Stravinsky stands by an eternal music score at an endless piano keyboard. Tchaikovsky and Mozart sit on its bench. Balanchine has come to join their everlasting collaboration.