Although it was always Lucia Chase's aim for ABT to be the one and only national ballet company, the New York City Ballet, which was founded in 1948 by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein, is a solid rival.
The founder of the New York City Ballet and grandfather of the now famed holiday production of The Nutcracker, Balanchine was the first classical choreographer to enlist modern dancers into his company.
Balanchine, who is the father of American ballet, and most known for his choreography of the Nutcracker, worked in France for a period after leaving Russia, and before coming to the US.
He danced in Canada for a while before traveling on to the United States, where he experimented with several forward-thinking choreographers before joining Balanchine in New York City.
Balanchine, the son of a composer, saw his dancers as instruments, therefore most of his ballets are plotless, often performed without extensive backdrops, scenery or costumes.