The Dance Historian Is In, Online: The Dance Historian Is In: Trinette Singleton on The Joffrey Ballet

Date and Time
Wednesday, May 29, 2024, 1 - 3 PM
End times are approximate. Events may end early or late.
Event Details

Robert Joffrey backstage during a performance of the Robert Joffrey Theatre Ballet with dancers on stage behind in black and white.


For this Dance Historian Is In, former Joffrey Ballet dancer Trinette Singleton presents touchstones from the Joffrey Ballet’s history with works from the repertoire and the Joffrey Methodology. Beginning with the early 1960s following the Joffrey Ballet’s split with Rebecca Harkness, Singleton discusses the events of that first year as the company began to establish itself. Singleton highlights various works that went into the repertoire during that period, along with the 1967 addition of The Green Table, an important milestone for the company.

That year was also the year Joffrey produced his groundbreaking multimedia ballet, Astarte. It thrust both the company and Singleton into major news attention. Singleton explores the creation of this work, which has always been a topic of interest to many.

The program presents an overview of the work of the Joffrey Ballet’s co-founder Gerald Arpino, who was a prolific, often underrated choreographer. The Arpino Chicago Centennial Celebration was a recent testimony to his choreographic genius. Some of the pieces performed for the Centennial Celebration will be highlighted.

A few years ago, a small group of dancers who had studied with Robert Joffrey decided it was time to create a record of his teaching method. Through the efforts of those dancers and the Arpino Foundation, a document titled the Joffrey Methodology has resulted. Singleton speaks about the process of documentation and shows a video of a few exercises from Joffrey’s actual classes.

For more than 10 years, The Dance Historian Is In at the Library for the Performing Arts has highlighted a diverse range of dancers and choreographers across history. This series began when archivist and historian David Vaughan started volunteering at the Jerome Robbins Dance Division. Vaughan began a monthly program showing his favorite dance films from the Division's extensive collection, through which he unearthed many treasures, and helped acquire in even more. Vaughan continued the series until the end of his life. Today, we honor his memory and work by inviting dance historians from all over the world each month to carry on the tradition of highlighting dance history through the Dance Division's moving image collection.

Photo Credit: Robert Joffrey Backstage during a performance of the Robert Joffrey Theatre Ballet. Uncredited photographer, 1950s. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.


This event will take place online via Zoom as well as in person at The Library for the Performing Arts.

*A streaming link will be emailed to everyone on the morning of the event for those wishing to attend virtually.


SEATING POLICY | Programs are free and open to all, but registration is requested. Check-in line forms 45 minutes before the advertised start time. Registered guests are given priority check-in 15 to 30 minutes before start time. Five minutes before the advertised start time, all seats are released, regardless of registration, to our patrons in the stand-by line. If you arrive after the program starts, you will be seated at the discretion of our front-of-house staff.

STANDBY LINE | If registration is sold out or has ended, do not fret! We welcome you to come to the Library regardless of registration status and wait in our standby line, which forms 45 minutes before the advertised start time. Five minutes before the program starts, all remaining seats are released. While this is not guaranteed, we will do our best to get you into any of our programs.

ASSISTIVE LISTENING AND ASL | ASL interpretation and real-time (CART) captioning available upon request. Please submit your request at least two weeks in advance by emailing

BRUNO WALTER POLICY | Please note that any unoccupied seat will be released five minutes before the show begins and holding seats for anyone beyond that is prohibited. There is no food or drink allowed inside the venue.

AUDIO/VIDEO RECORDING | Programs may be photographed and recorded by and at the discretion of the Library for the Performing Arts and will post signs indicating as such. If you would prefer your image not be captured, please let us know and we can seat you accordingly. Attending any program indicates your consent to being filmed/photographed and your consent to the use of your recorded image for any and all purposes of the New York Public Library.

PRESS | Please send all press inquiries to Alex Teplitzky at Please note that all recording, including professional video recordings, are prohibited without expressed consent from the Library.