(b Riverside, Calif., 4 Jun. 1964)
US dancer. She studied with Irina Kosmovska in Los Angeles and then at the School of American Ballet. In 1979 her precocious success in the School's Workshop performance led to her becoming an apprentice with New York City Ballet, promoted to full company member in 1980, soloist in 1981, and principal in 1983. Even as a teenager Kistler performed with a ballerina's assurance, her ability to project emotional and musical nuance in combination with the grand scale of her dancing causing many to consider her the successor of Suzanne Farrell. She danced most of the leading roles in the Balanchine repertory and also created roles in numerous works including Robbins's Gershwin Concerto (1982), and Piccolo Balletto (1986), and Martins's Histoire du soldat (1981), Echo (1989), Sleeping Beauty (1991), and Stabat Mater (1998). Injury interrupted her career between 1983 and 1985 and again in 1998 and 1999, but Kistler continued dancing with NYCB until 2010, the last ballerina of the Balanchine era. She additionally guested with the Princeton Ballet, among others, and appeared on US television as well as teaching at the School of American Ballet from 1994 onwards. In 1991 she married Peter Martins.