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Bart Cook became a Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet in 1979. He worked extensively with Jerome Robbins, Associate Artistic Director of NYCB and prolific choreographer.
Bart originated and performed soloist roles in The Cage, Glass Pieces, I'm Old Fashioned, Dances at a Gathering, The Concert and Opus 19. Bart was named Assistant Ballet Master to Robbins in 1980 and served in that capacity until 1993.
While still at New York City Ballet, Bart began to choreograph at Balanchine's urging. His works for The School of American Ballet and the New York City Ballet Education Department included Seven by Five, Saint–Saens; Three Preludes, Gershwin; La Italiana in Algeri, Rossini; and Rondo, Mozart.
His last work for New York City Ballet, Flotezart, to a flute composition by Mozart, was performed during the inaugural season of The Diamond Project in May 1992. He has been a "repetiteur" for the George Balanchine Trust and the Robbins Rights Trust for more than 20 years, teaching the choreographers' ballets to many companies in the U.S. and abroad, including: The Royal Ballet, The Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, The Dance Theater of Harlem, and others.
Bart and his wife Maria Calegari's staging of Ballet Imperial with the Tchaikovsky State Ballet of Perm won Russia's Golden Mask Award in 2004.
Bart Cook: Choreographer is a 30-minute film documenting Cook's creative process as he prepared students from the School of American Ballet for their performance of La Italiana in Algeri for their annual workshop performance at Lincoln Center — a charming and rare glimpse into the choreographic process.