Anchored by the reclining figure of legendary New York City Ballet choreographer George Balanchine, this photograph presents an ensemble of dancers and choreographers who brought American ballet to the forefront in the mid-twentieth century. Balanchine's influence over these titans of dance was considerable. He nurtured the performing careers of both Ruthanna Boris (center), one of his first American pupils, and Todd Bolender (leaping), the versatile dancer who brought to life many of Balanchine's most challenging ballets. Boris and Bolender also choreographed critically acclaimed productions for Balanchine in the 1950s. Jerome Robbins (seated, left) saw his career flourish under Balanchine's guidance, and it was during his tenure with the City Ballet that he devised some of the company's most original works. Anthony Tudor (top) would prove to be less compatible with Balanchine, and his association with the City Ballet was relatively brief.