Darci Kistler in the NYCB

Darci Kistler started dancing at the New York City Ballet’s School of American Ballet in 1979. The following year in 1980, she joined the New York City Ballet and was promoted to soloist in 1981. She was only 17 years old when she became a soloist- making her the youngest Ballerina at the NYCB in history. She had many noteworthy roles, including the sugarplum fairy in the NYCB’s film version of The Nutcracker in 1993. She had signature roles in Balanchine’s Jewels (Diamonds), Agon,  and Prodigal Son. Kistler’s career had many roadblocks due to injuries. She went through several surgeries for her ankle and back. One broken ankle injury actually sidelined her from ballet for three years. After thirty successful years with the NYCB, Kistler retired in 2009. During her retirement performance she danced pieces choreographed by Balanchine whose ballets made her successful in the first place. 


Natalie D’Addieco


2 thoughts on “Darci Kistler in the NYCB

  1. I found it very interesting that it took Kistler only 2 years to be a soloist at the NYCB, when it takes some girls much longer to even make the cut to be in the corps de ballet, and only when she was 17 years old! I think it’s incredible the amount of talent some dancers posses. I have friends in dance companies, and it seems like all they do is dance, every day after school until late at night. It would be awful to see one of them have to quit dance for any amount of time, and I think it’s wonderful that Kistler was able to push through her 3 year injury and keep dancing for a whole 30 years. She seems like a dance to look up to.

    Kelsey Haywood

  2. Darci Kistler was a magnificent dancer with determination! For her to have only been 17 when she became a soloist is remarkable. Its unfortunate that she had to undergo those setbacks as a result of her injuries. However, I was glad to read that she did not let that stop her from continuing to dance. Not only was she very fortunate that none of her surgeries stopped her from dancing all together, but the dance world was as well. A dismissal of one major dancer like Darci seems as though it could shift the entire history of the company and ballet.

    Dia Clark

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