In 1939, the American Ballet Theatre was established. From 1945–1980, Lucia Chase and Oliver Smith steered it and led it toward prestige. In 2006, an Act of Congress designated the ABT as America’s National Ballet Company. The organization is situated in New York City where the bulk of performances take place in the fall and spring, but every year, they tour as well. The influences for ABT come from the classics of ballet. They perform nineteenth century pieces like The Sleeping Beauty as well as works from the early twentieth century, like Jardin aux Lilas in addition to contemporary masterpieces including Airs.
Excellence Through Leadership
Many times, an organization is a reflection of its leadership. The American Ballet Theatre has always had outstanding leadership guiding it right into being declared America’s National Ballet Company by Congress. The mission has always been to develop a repertoire of the best ballets from the past while commissioning new works by gifted young choreographers. Mikhail Baryshnikov became Artistic Director in 1980, succeeding Lucia Chase and Oliver Smith. He refined the classical tradition. Jane Hermann and Oliver Smith succeeded Baryshnikov and maintained tradition while ushering in an era of innovation. All this is displayed on the stage through the performances.
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Where is American Ballet Theatre performing?
The American Ballet Theatre performs at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City in the spring. In the fall, performances for two weeks are held at David H. Koch Theater.
What can I expect from American Ballet Theatre?
An audience can expect classical performances from the American Ballet Theatre as well as contemporary shows. The dancers are trained in classical ballet and are given the opportunity to display their talents in solo pieces, too. It is the mindset of always aiming for excellence that gives them the opportunity to perform for 300,000 individuals annually and tour over 136 cities since their inception.
How long is an American Ballet Theatre performance?
The length of American Ballet Theatre performances varies. Firebird is 47 minutes long while Balanchine, Bennett & The Beach Boys has a run time of 143 minutes. Swan Lake lasts about two and a half hours with one intermission.
Who are the members of American Ballet Theatre?
Kevin McKenzie is the artistic director of the American Ballet Theatre. Kara Medoff Barnett is the executive director. The principal dancers include Stella Abrera, Isabella Boylston and Misty Copeland as well as Herman Cornejo, David Hallberg and Sarah Lane. Soloists include Joo Won Ahn, Aran Bell and Skylar Brandt as well as Zhong-Jing Fang, Thomas Forster and Joseph Gorak.
Is American Ballet Theatre coming to a city near me?