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Born in St. Louis, William Dollar trained almost entirely in the United States, studying with George Balanchine, Michel Fokine, Mikhail Mordkin, and Pierre Vladimirov. Dollar was a leading dancer with the American Ballet, Ballet Caravan, and the American Ballet Caravan, companies that preceded and led to the establishment of the New York City Ballet in 1948. His creations with those companies included roles in Balanchine’s versions of Le Baiser de la Fee, The Card Party (ater known as Card Game), and Transcendence, which Balanchine choreographed especially for him.
His first ballet, Classic Ballet, was choreographed with Balanchine; Dollar restaged this work in 1944 as Constantia for Ballet International. He choreographed many other ballets, of which his best known is The Duel, he originally staged in 1949 as Le Combat for Roland Petit’s Ballets de Paris. Dollar also created a ballet for the Ford Motor Company’s pavilion at the New York World’s Fair of 1940. He worked with ballet companies in Brazil, Japan, and Monte Carlo and founded a national ballet company in Iran.
William Dollar died in 1986.