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|Born||June 4, 1964|
Riverside, California, U.S.
|Residence||Manhattan, New York, U.S.|
Peter Martins (m. 1991)
|Children||Talicia Tove Martins|
Kistler was born in Riverside, California, the fifth child (with four older brothers) of a medical doctor and his wife. Her brothers excelled in amateur wrestling, and she followed them into water-skiing, basketball, football and horseback riding.
At age 4, Kistler received her first tutu and began ballet training that same year. She claimed although she was always athletic, she could never keep to her brothers—so ballet turned out to be one cornerstone she had mastered. After seeing a ballet performance of Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn, she decided she wanted to take up ballet herself. She studied with Mary Lynn at Mary Lynn's Ballet Arts and later with Irina Kosmovska in Los Angeles.
In early 1979, Kistler was selected to study at New York City Ballet's School of American Ballet (SAB), where she met George Balanchine. She joined the New York City Ballet (NYCB) corps de ballet in 1980, and was featured in a Time article before the end of the year.
Kistler was promoted to (NYCB) soloist in 1981 and principal dancer in 1982, the youngest ever at 17 years. Signature roles include Balanchine's Jewels (Diamonds), Agon, Prodigal Son and Symphony in C. She danced the rôle of the Sugarplum Fairy in City Ballet's 1993 film version of The Nutcracker. She eventually wrote her own autobiography "Ballerina: My Story" as a children's book.
Kistler joined the SAB's permanent faculty in 1994.
Throughout her career, she had numerous dance-related injuries, including a broken ankle that sidelined her for three years. She went through several surgeries, including for her back.
In February 2009, Kistler announced her retirement from New York City Ballet at the end of the 2010 season. Her farewell performance took place on June 27, 2010, and consisted of ballets choreographed by Balanchine and Martins:
Kistler married New York City Ballet's balletmaster-in-chief Peter Martins in 1991. In July 1992, Martins was arrested and held for five hours after Kistler, his 28-year-old wife of seven months, phoned the police for help. Kistler filed an affidavit accusing him of assaulting her, pushing and slapping her, and cutting and bruising her arms and legs, and he was charged with third-degree assault (a misdemeanor). Kistler dropped the charges a few days later, saying she preferred to resolve the matter without the court's intervention. When she next performed in a ballet two days later, she reportedly wore heavy makeup to conceal bruises she had suffered. Several people who knew the two well claimed it wasn't the first time Martins had hit Kistler.
Kistler and Martins have one daughter, Talicia Tove Martins, born June 13, 1996. In 2017 Talicia and her boyfriend were arrested for burglary, breaking-and-entering and drug possession while committing a string of robberies in Camden, Maine. She was sentenced to 72 hours of community service, mandatory counseling and an agreement to refrain from drugs and alcohol for one year.
Robert La Fosse
- Adams Violin Concerto
- Bach Concerto V
- The Chairman Dances
- Delight of the Muses
- Guide to Strange Places
- Octet NYCB premiere
- Romeo + Juliet Lady Capulet
- The Sleeping Beauty
- Stabat Mater
- Suite from Histoire du Soldat
- Symphonic Dances
- Symphony No. 1
- Tālā Gaisma
- Thou Swell
- Todo Buenos Aires
- Viva Verdi
- Brahms–Schoenberg Quartet
- Concerto Barocco
- The Nutcracker Dewdrop and the Sugar Plum Fairy
- Jewels Diamonds
- A Midsummer Night's Dream
- Monumentum pro Gesualdo
- Movements for Piano and Orchestra
- Prodigal Son
- Robert Schumann's Davidsbündlertänze
- La Sonnambula
- Sylvia pas de deux
- Symphony in C second movement
- Union Jack
- Variations pour une Porte et un Soupir
- Vienna Waltzes
- Walpurgisnacht Ballet
- Western Symphony
- PBS Dance in America
- PBS Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Alexandra Danilova
- Swan Lake pas de deux
- PBS Dance in America The Balanchine Celebration
- PBS Live from Lincoln Center New York City Ballet's Diamond Project: Ten Years of New Choreography, 2002
- PBS Live from Lincoln Center Lincoln Center Celebrates Balanchine 100, 2004
- Toni Bentley, Darci Kistler Exits the Stage, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2010, p. W2
- Martha Duffy, Dance: A New Sunbeam, Traveling Fast, Time, December 8, 1980: "At 16, Darci Kistler is on point. There are no subtleties in Darci Kistler's success story: she is a little girl's fantasy come to life. At 16 she has been given major roles by George Balanchine, the greatest living choreographer. New York City Ballet audiences, normally a reserved and sophisticated lot, cheer her on ..."
- Daniel J. Wakin (February 5, 2009). "Last Balanchine Dancer Bowing Out". The New York Times. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- Alastair Macaulay (June 28, 2010). "Arts : Dance". The New York Times. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- "Ballerina drops assault charges against husband". UPI. July 22, 1992.
- "Martins, Ballet Master, Held On Charge He Beat His Wife". The New York Times. July 22, 1992.
- "Ballet Legend Almost Got Boot". Page Six. February 11, 2007.
- Vogue - Google Books, 1998.
- "Peter Martins, Off Balance: In the Wake of Last Summer's Wife-Beating Scandal, Can the New York City Ballet's Artistic Director Get Back on His Toes?", Los Angeles Times, page 2.
- Chronicle by Nadine Brozan, The New York Times, June 14, 1996.
- Darci Kistler; Alicia Kistler, Ballerina: My Story (Pocket Books, New York, 1993)