As a dancer, Nicholas Magallanes was one of the great artistic forces of the New York City Ballet from its founding in 1948 until 1976 at his last performance. George Balanchine featured him in numerous roles, including Orpheus (1948), La Valse (1951), and Episodes (1959). Magallanes also danced in premieres for Jerome Robbins' The Guests and Sir Frederick Ashton's Illuminations during this period.
It was Pavel Tchelitchew who was credited with discovering Magallenes in 1934 and introducing him to Balanchine, the then-director of the School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Kirstein, an art impressario and co-founder of NYCB.
Tchelitchew likely knew Balanchine from his collaboration with Ballet Russe perhaps as early as 1919. In 1934 Tchelitchew immigrated to New York, just one year after Balanchine had arrived to the United States. Through these associations, Magallanes became a great friend of Pavel Tchelitchew and the selection of works (lots 30-34) represent a rare glimpse into the early work of the Russian artist.