2 3 Happy New Year’s Eve | Ballet Webb

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year’s Eve

Happy New Year’s Eve

The event we know today as the celebration of New Year’s Eve in Times Square began in 1904. 1904 was the year the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue (previously called Long Acre Square) was renamed Times Square, because the New York Times newspaper headquarters were built there.

It was newspaper owner Adolph Ochs idea to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a big party. So, in 1904 he shot fireworks from the top of the building, and continued to do so each year until 1907 when the city banned fireworks. That’s when the idea of the “ball drop” came in. It was inspired by “time balls”. Time balls were used in the 1800s to assist ship captains in telling time and precisely setting their instruments while out at sea. 

The first ball weighed 700 pounds and contained 100 light bulbs. Today, the ball weights 17 times that and features 32,000 LEDs. The New Year’s Eve ball has been dropped every year since 1907, except in 1942 and 1943 because of “dimout” restrictions due to WWII.

Are you wondering what dance-related things happened in history the same year as the first ball drop in NYC? Here are a few:

- In 1907, Nikolai Legat staged a revival of Les Saisons at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre.
- Michel Fokine created Chopiniana to music composed by Chopin. It premiered February 23, 1907 at the Maryinsky Theatre and starred Anna Pavlova, Vera Fokina and Anatole Oboukhoff.
- Anna Pavlova premiered Dying Swan on December 22, 1907, choreographed for her by Michel Fokine, music by Leon Saint-Saens for Carnival of Animals.
- Lincoln Kirstein is born on May 4, 1907 in Rochester, New York.
- Nijinsky became a soloist at the Maryinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg.

Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve everyone!

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
History Factoid #140:
“ The first New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square was held in 1904.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Tonight’s December thirty-first,
Something is about to burst.
The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.
Hark, it's midnight, children dear.
Duck! Here comes another year!”
Ogden Nash

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