A corporate grant of $144,000 was all E. Virginia Williams needed in 1963 to launch what would become the Boston Ballet. The founder of the company had previously started the New England Civic Ballet in 1958. The dancers took to the stage of the John Hancock Hall on January 25, 1965 to present a program that included Apollo by George Balanchine. - Lane Turner and Lisa Tuite
Edward Jenner/Globe staff
Dec. 28, 1963: E. Virginia Williams, founder of the Boston Ballet School, directed practice at her studio on Massachusetts Avenue in Boston. A Ford Foundation grant of $144,000 given to the Boston Ballet School several weeks earlier created Boston's first and only professional ballet company.
Tom Landers/Globe staff
Nov. 26, 1971: Laurita Darden (in center of doorway) and Janet Farrell (right) watched some of the older girls try out at the Boston Ballet Company.
The Boston Globe
Feb. 12, 1974: Boston Ballet Company's "Giselle," starring Edith Toth as Giselle and Woytek Lowski as Albrecht, opened the winter season at the Music Hall.
Paul Connell/Globe staff
May 28, 1980: Members of the Boston Ballet shared champagne toasts at Logan Airport before leaving for China. The company was beginning a 12-week world tour which, when they opened with "Cinderella" in Beijing, made them the first US ballet company to dance in the People's Republic of China. Laura Young, Arthur Leeth, Nicolas Parana, Anamarie Sarazin and David Drummond were the corps members shown having a send-off toast.
Ted Dully/Globe staff
Dec. 11, 1981: Stagehand Ray McLaughlin swept artificial snow from the stage of Boston's Metropolitan Center for the Performing Arts during dress rehearsal for Boston Ballet's production of the Nutcracker. Elaine Bauer, who danced the role of the Snow Queen, watched while Donn Edwards, who had the role of the Snow King, conversed with Violette Verdy, co-artistic director of the ballet.
Joseph Dennehy/Globe staff
March 10, 1982: Rudolf Nureyev and Laura Young in rehearsal for Don Quixote. The 43-year old Nureyev danced the role of Basilio.
Stan Grossfeld/Globe staff
July 8, 1982: Elizabeth Levieux (top) and Margaret Tappan kept cool playing cards before practice at the Boston Ballet Summer Program.
Janet Knott/Globe staff
Nov. 2, 1982: Most girls watched the tryouts, but the action drew a big yawn from Danielle Delmonico. There were 380 young dancers in auditions for 150 places in the Boston Ballet's 19th annual production of the Nutcracker. There were 50 roles for children; the 150 children selected formed three choruses, each performing for one week of the ballet's three-week-run.
John Blanding/Globe staff
July 2, 1983: Linda Rice, Corinne Neenan, and Christopher Jones, student dancers with the Boston Ballet Ensemble, danced in the rain at the Boston Harborwalk parade. The downpour came just as the parade was ending.
Jim Wilson/Globe staff
Oct. 23, 1985: Dancer Victor LaCasse was surrounded by women in this dress rehearsal for Don Quixote at the Wang Center, choreographed by Rudolf Nureyev.
Bill Brett/Globe staff
Aug. 6, 1986: Karen Martin, a member of the Boston Ballet II ensemble, practiced at the Hatch Shell for her upcoming performance on the Esplanade. The annual summer concerts of the Boston Ballet II showcased young performers ranging in age from 15 to 22.