The anniversary of Balanchine's birth happens to coincide with that of playwright August Strindberg (1849), whose nearly insane denunciations of women as "half apes" and "instinctively evil" animals have branded him as a misogynist. It also coincides with the still controversial anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, which legalized elective abortion in fifty states.
Balanchine's place within a configuration that yields such ironies is worth noting. Not only for his contributions to art but for his understanding of the role of The Feminine in relation to the creative process. Women inspire. God creates. Men assemble the pieces and do the yeoman's work. Perhaps that is why Balanchine was great. This understanding aligns him with men like Hermann Hesse, Goethe, and Carl Jung.
There is so much more to say about the astonishing life and work of George Balanchine. Some of it can be found in the interviews, photographs, and video clips in the Storify slide-show presentation below.