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American Ballet Theatre

American Ballet Theatre (ABT), is a classical ballet company based in New York City. It has an annual eight week season at the Metropolitan Opera House Lincoln Center, and tours around the world the rest of the year. American Ballet Theatre was founded in 1937 by Mikhail Mordkin and is recognized as one of the world's leading classical ballet companies. American Ballet Theatre is the parent company of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, and was recognized as "America's National Ballet Company" in 2006 by the United States Congress.[1][2]



Mikhail Mordkin, a former dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, defected to the West during the Russian Revolution and settled in the United States in 1924. Mordkin staged the country's first production of Swan Lake in 1924, then later formed the "Mordkin Ballet" in 1937 with students from his New York school with Lucia Chase, his student, as one of his prima ballerinas. By 1939, former Hollywood agent, Richard Pleasant, came to New York to manage the company. By the summer of 1939, Pleasant and Chase developed big ideas to turn the company into a full-fledged ballet company, and to base it on "a gallery of dance rather than the vision of a single choreographer" and a "living museum of dance" with Russian, American and British "wings", and units for black and Hispanic dances. The pair renamed the company "Ballet Theatre" and Mordkin later departed, finding himself solely in the background.

Chase began developing the company's repertoire of well-known full-length ballets, as well as original works amidst financial issues, until in 1945 Oliver Smith joined Ballet Theatre and became co-director with Chase. In 1957 the company changed its name to "American Ballet Theatre" and continued to focus on ballet classics with continued financial issues until, during the 1960s and 1970s, financial conditions with the company were favorable due to private funding. During this period, American Ballet Theatre shifted its focus to recruiting ballet stars.

In 1977, the company began its spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House, its new official venue, then in 1980 Mikhail Baryshnikov became Artistic Director for American Ballet Theatre. Barishnikov staged, restaged, and refurbished numerous classical ballet's and, according to the company, strengthened their classical tradition. Barishnikov was replaced by Jane Hermann and Oliver Smith in 1989, and the pair remained as Artistic Director's until in 1992 Kevin McKenzie was appointed. McKenzie satisfied the demands of the traditional ballet audience by prioritizing full-length narrative ballets as well as succeeding in keeping the company afloat during financially unstable times. McKenzie established an official associate school in 2004, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, and appointed Alexei Ratmansky as "Artist in Residence" in January 2009 after a long period of no in-house choreographer.[3][4]

Artistic staff

Artistic directors

  • Lucia Chase and Oliver Smith (1940 1980)
  • Mikhail Baryshnikov (1980 1989)
  • Jane Hermann and Oliver Smith (1989 1992)
  • Kevin McKenzie (1992 present)

Resident choreographers

  • Antony Tudor (1940 1950) [5]
  • Alexei Ratmansky (2009 present)

Current dancers

There are three levels within the company (in ascending order): ABT's Corps de Ballet,[6] the soloists[7] and the principals;[8] there is also ABT II, also known as the ABT Studio Company.[9]

Principal dancers

The American Ballet Theatre's current principal dancers are:[8][10]

  • Maxim Beloserkovsky [11]
  • Angel Corella [13]
  • Herman Cornejo [14]

  • Irina Dvorovenko [15]
  • Marcelo Gomes [16]
  • David Hallberg [17]
  • Paloma Herrera [19]

  • Gillian Murphy [21]
  • Veronika Part [23]

  • Xiomara Reyes [24]
  • Ethan Stiefel [26]


The American Ballet Theatre's current soloists are:[7]

  • Stella Abrera [28]
  • Isabella Boylston [30]
  • Misty Copeland [31]

  • Yuriko Kajiya [33]
  • Jared Matthews [35]
  • Simone Messmer [36]

  • Sascha Radetsky [37]
  • Maria Riccetto [38]
  • Craig Salstein [39]

  • Gennadi Saveliev [40]
  • Daniil Simkin [42]

Corps de ballet

The American Ballet Theatre's current corps de ballet includes:[6]

  • Alexei Agoudine
  • Eun Young Ahn
  • Sterling Baca
  • Gemma Bond
  • Kelley Boyd
  • Julio Bragado-Young
  • Skylar Brandt
  • Puanani Brown
  • Marian Butler
  • Nicola Curry
  • Gray Davis
  • Brittany De Grofft
  • Grant Delong
  • Roddy Doble
  • Tobin Eason

  • Kenneth Easter
  • Zhong-Jing Fang
  • Thomas Forster
  • April Giangeruso
  • Jeffrey Golladay
  • Joseph Gorak
  • Nicole Graniero
  • Alexandre Hammoudi
  • Melanie Hamrick
  • Blaine Hoven
  • Mikhail Ilyin
  • Jamie Kopit
  • Vitali Krauchenka
  • Courtney Lavine
  • Isadora Loyola

  • Daniel Mantei
  • Elizabeth Mertz
  • Elina Miettinen
  • Patrick Ogle
  • Luciana Paris
  • Renata Pavam
  • Joseph Phillips
  • Lauren Post
  • Kelley Potter
  • Luis Ribagorda
  • Calvin Royal III
  • Jessica Saund
  • Adrienne Schulte
  • Arron Scott

  • Jose Sebastian
  • Christine Shevchenko
  • Sarah Smith
  • Sean Stewart
  • Eric Tamm
  • Devon Teuscher
  • Cassandra Trenary
  • Leann Underwood
  • Karen Uphoff
  • Luciana Voltolini
  • Jennifer Whalen
  • Katherine Williams
  • Stephanie Williams
  • Roman Zhurbin

Former dancers

The following is a partial list of former dancers with ABT, listed by their highest rank prior to leaving the company.

Former principal dancers

  • Ivan Allen (1950s 1960s)
  • Victor Barbee (1975 2003) [44]
  • Patrick Bissell (1977 1987)
  • Julio Bocca (1986 2006) [45]
  • Leslie Browne (1976 1993) [46]
  • Fernando Bujones (1972 85, 1990s) [47]

  • Jos Manuel Carre o (1995 2011) [48]
  • Lucia Chase (1940 1960)
  • Alexander Godunov (1979 1982)
  • Guillaume Graffin (1988 2005) [52]
  • Cynthia Gregory (1965 1991) [53]
  • Cynthia Harvey (1974 1986) [54]
  • Susan Jaffe (1980 2002) [56]

  • John Kriza (1940 1966)
  • Robert La Fosse (1977 1986) [58]
  • Harold Lang (1943 1945)
  • Annabelle Lyon (1939 1943) [59]
  • Vladimir Malakhov (1995 2008) [61]
  • Kevin McKenzie (1979 1991) [63]
  • Amanda McKerrow (1982 2005) [64]

  • Kirk Peterson (1974 1980) [65]
  • Danilo Radojevic (1978 1993) [66]
  • Johan Renvall (1978 1996) [68]
  • Keith Roberts (1987 1999) [69]
  • Marianna Tcherkassky (1970 1996) [70]
  • Ashley Tuttle (1987 2004) [71]
  • Martine van Hamel (1970 1992) [72]
  • Michele Wiles (1998 2011) [73]

Former soloists

  • Ethan Brown (1981 2004) [74]
  • Gabrielle Brown (1980 1996) [76]
  • Sandra Brown (1987 2003) [77]
  • Tener Brown (1979 1986) [79]

  • Carmen Corella (1998 2007) [80]
  • Erica Cornejo (1998 2007) [81]
  • George de la Pe a (1970s 1985) [82]
  • Joaquin De Luz (1997 2003) [83]

  • Lisa de Ribere (1979 1984) [84]
  • Melissa Hayden (1945 1947) [85]
  • Anna Liceica (1996 2007) [86]
  • Carlos Lopez (2001 2011) [87]

  • Charles Maple (1972 1979) [89]
  • Monique Meunier (2002 2007) [90]
  • Carlos Molina (1998 2007) [91]
  • Amy Rose (1979 1992) [92]

Former corps de ballet

  • Maria Bystrova (2000 2010) [93]
  • Caroline Duprot (2009 2011) [94]
  • Aino Ettala (2010) [95]

  • Meaghan Hinkis (2010 2011) [96]
  • Carrie Jensen (2000 2009) [97]
  • Clinton Luckett (1992 2002) [98]

  • Isaac Stappas (2000 2011) [99]
  • Sarawanee Tanatanit (2002 2008) [100]

  • Mary Mills Thomas (2008 2011) [101]
  • Melissa Thomas (2002 2009) [102]

Special repertoire

Maybe no other choreographer was as closely associated with ABT as the great British choreographer Antony Tudor, who made his American debut with the company. The other continuous creative force was the legendary Agnes de Mille. She staged the majority of her ballet works with them. Many choreographers have mounted works especially for ABT, including George Balanchine, Adolph Bolm, Michel Fokine, L onide Massine, and Bronislava Nijinska. Other renowned choreographers who have worked at ABT include Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, and Alvin Ailey.

ABT's 1976 production of The Nutcracker starring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland was televised the following year and has become a broadcast classic.

The main season is held during eight weeks in the spring at New York City's Metropolitan Opera House.

The current choreographer in residence for ABT is Alexei Ratmansky.


American Ballet Theatre established an official associate school in 2004, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, named in honor of the late, previous First Lady of the United States, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.[103]

ABT Studio Company

ABT Studio Company, formerly known as ABT II, is a small company of 12 young dancers, ranging from ages 16 to 20, handpicked by ABT. It is currently an extension of the JKO school. These dancers are trained in the program to join ABT's main company or other leading professional companies, and the program is described by ABT as "a bridge between ballet training and professional performance". While the dancers study intensively and learn the company repertoire, they also gain various performance experiences via cultural exchanges, regional touring, and residencies. All of the dancer's learn Alexei Ratmansky's The Nutcracker, and a select group are chosen to perform the ballet when the company holds performances at Brooklyn Academy of Music.[104]

  • Amanda de Oliveira
  • Beau Fisher

  • Gabrielle Johnson
  • Shu Kinouchi
  • Alex Kramer

  • Carolyn Lippert
  • Gabe Stone Shayer
  • Sem Sjouke

  • Brianna Steinfeldt
  • Paulina Waski
  • Zhang Zhiyao

Ballets performed

Below is an alphabetical list of works which have been performed by American Ballet Theatre.[105] Not all of the works are currently in the company's repertory.

Adagio for Strings, Afternoon of a Faun (Robbins), Afternoon of a Faun (Nijinsky), Airs, Aleko, Allegro Brillante, Amazed in Burning Dreams, Americans We, Amnon V'Tamar, L'Amour et son Amour, Anastasia, Angrismene, Annabel Lee, Apollo, Appalachian Spring, Artemis, At Midnight, Awakening, The Awakening Pas de Deux

Bach Partita, Le Baiser de la F e (John Neumeier), Baker's Dozen, Le Bal, Balladen der Liebe, Ballet Imperial, Ballo Della Regina, Barn Dance, Baroque Game, La Bayad re, Beatrice, The Beloved, Billy the Kid, Birthday Offering, Bitter Rainbow, Black Ritual (Obeah), Black Tuesday, Blood Wedding, Bluebeard, Bolero (solo), Bolero, Bourr e Fantasque, Brahms Quintet, A Brahms Symphony, The Brahms-Haydn Variations, Brief Fling, The Bright Stream, Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, The Bull Dancers, Bum's Rush

C. to C. (Close to Chuck), The Capital of the World, Capriccio Espagnol, Capriccioso, Caprichos, The Careless Burghers, Carmen (Alberto Alonso), Carmen (Roland Petit), Carnaval, The Catherine Wheel, Cinderella, Cinderella (Kudelka), Circo de Espana, Citizen, Clair de Lune, Clear, The Combat, Concerto (Dollar/Chopin), Concerto (Dollar/Mendelssohn), Concerto (MacMillan), Concerto (Ross), Concerto no. 1 for Piano and Orchestra, Concerto Six Twenty-Two (duet), Concert Waltzes, Configurations, Conflict, Continuo, Continuum, Conterdances, Copp lia, Corbaille de Fleurs, Le Corsaire (full-length ballet), Le Corsaire Pas de Deux, Cruel World

Dancing with Monet, Danses Concertante, Danza del Molinero, Dark Elegies, Death and the Maiden, Les Demoiselles de la Nuit, Designs with Strings, Desir (pas de deux), Dialogues, Diana and Act on (pas de deux), Dim Lustre, Disposition, Diversion of Angels, Divertimento-Rossini, Divertissement D'Auber, Don Domingo de Don Blas, Donizetti Variations, Don Quixote, Don Quixote (Grand pas de deux), Don't Panic!, Dorian, The Dream, Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, Duets, Duo Concertant

Eccentrique, Echoing of Trumpets, Eden (pas de deux), Electra, Elegy, The Elements, The Enchanted, The Encounter, Enough Said, Ensayo Sinfonica, Epilogue, Esmeralda (pas de deux  after Perrot), Esmeralda (pas de deux  Stevenson), La Esmeralda (Beriosoff), Espana, Estuary, The Eternal Idol, Etudes, Everlast, Everything Doesn't Happen at Once

Facsimile, Fair at Sorochinsk, Fall River Legend, Fancy Free, Fandango, Fantaisie Serieuse, The Fantastic Toyshop, Festa, Fest Polonaise, Field, Chair and Mountain, La Fille Mal Gard e, Firebird, Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan, Five Sketches, Flames of Paris, Flower Festival in Genzano, Follow the Feet, The Four Marys, Francesca da Rimini, From Here On Out, The Fugue

Ga t Parisienne, Gala Performance, The Garden of Villandry, Gartenfest, Gayaneh (pas de deux), Gemini, Getting Closer, Gift of the Magi, Giselle, Glinka Pas de Trois, Glow-Stop, Gong, Goya Pastoral, Goyescas, Graduation Ball, Grand Pas Classique, Le Grand Pas de Deux, Grand Pas (Glazunov), Grand Pas Romantique, Le Grand Spectacle, Grand Tarantella, Grass, Graziana, The Great American Goof, Great Galloping (Gottschalk), The Green Table, The Guards of Amager (Bournonville)

Hamlet Connotations, Harbinger, Harlequinade (pas de deux  Balanchine), Harlequinade (pas de deux  Stevenson), The Harvest According, Harvest Time, Helen of Troy, Hereafter, Las Hermanas, Hommage a Lucia, How Near Heaven, The Howling Cat, Huapango

In a Country Garden, In Volo, L'Inconnue, The Informer, Interludes, Intermezzo, Interplay, In The Upper Room, Italian Suite (four dances)

Jabula, Jack And Jill (pas de deux), Jardin Anime (from Le Corsaire, Act II), Jardin aux Lilas, Jeu D Esprit (Pi ce d Occasion), Le Jeune Homme et la Mort, Jeux, Jeu de cartes, Journey, Jubilee, Judgment of Paris, Jump Start

Kaleidoscope, Known by Heart, Kontraste

Lady From the Sea, Lady into Fox, Lady of the Camellias, The Leaf and the Wind, The Leaves Are Fading (pas de deux), Legende (pas de deux), Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Lilting Fate, The Little Ballet, Little Improvisations, The Love Song

Mademoiselle Angot, The Maids, Manon, Marimba, Meadow, Mechanical Ballet, Medea (pas de deux), The Meeting, Mendelssohn Symphony, The Merry Widow, Minkus Pas de Trois, The Miraculous Mandarin, The Mirror, Miss Julie, The Mollino Room, Momentum, Monument for a Dead Boy, Moondance, Moonlight Sonata, Moon Reindeer, The Moor's Pavane, Mozartiana, La Muerte Enamorada, Murder, My Funny Valentine Napoli Divertissements, N.Y. Export: Op. Jazz, Night Journey, Nimbus, Nine Sinatra Songs, Les Noces, The Nutcracker (Baryshnikov), The Nutcracker (McKenzie), The Nutcracker (Ratmansky) Odalisque, Ode to Glory, Offenbach in the Underworld, Once More, Frank, On Stage!, On The Dnieper, One of Three, Onegin, Ontogeny, Othello, The Other, Other Dances, Overgrown Path, Ovid Metamorphoses Paean, Paquita, Paquita (pas de deux), The Parliament of the Birds, Pas de Deux (Anatole Oboukhoff), Pas de Deux Holberg, Pas de Deux Imperiale (from Anastasia, Act II), Pas de "Duke", Pas de Quatre, Pas d'Esclave (from Le Corsaire), Pas des Deesses, Pas de Trois (Valentina Pereyslavec), Pas et Lignes, Le Passage Enchante, Les Patineurs, Pavane, La Peri (pas de deux), Petite Mort, Peter and the Wolf (Bolm), Peter and the Wolf (Smuin), Petrouchka, Pi ce d Occasion, The Pied Piper, Pierrot Lunaire, Pillar of Fire, Pleroma, Points of Jazz, Polovtsian Dances, Polyandrion, Prevailing Westerlies, Princess Aurora (excerpt from The Sleeping Beauty), Private Light, The Prodigal Son, A Promise, Pulcinella Variations, Push Comes to Shove

Quartet, Quintet

Rabbit and Rogue (Tharp), Raymonda, Raymonda (Act III), Raymonda (Divertissments), Raymonda (Divertissements from Act II & Act III), Raymonda (Grand Pas Classique), The Red Shoes, Remanso, Les Rendezvous, Rendezvous(Pas de deux  Hoff), Rendezvous (pas de deux  Nijinska), Requiem, Le Retour, Reverie, Rib of Eve, Ricercare (pas de deux), Rigaudon, The Rite of Spring, The River, Rodeo, Romantic Age, Romeo and Juliet (MacMillan), Romeo and Juliet (Tudor), Romeo and Juliet (pas de deux  Bruhn), Romeo and Juliet (pas de deux  Nureyev), Romeo and Juliet (pas de deux  Tchernichov), A Rose for Miss Emily, Russian Soldier

Le Sacre du Printemps (see above: The Rite of Spring), Sargasso, Scherzo for Massah Jack, Schubertiade, Schuman Concerto, Sea-Change, Sebastian, Sechs T nze, Sentient Bach, Serious Pleasures, Seven Faces of Love, Seven Sonatas, Seven Spanish Songs, Shadow of the Wind, Shadowplay, Side Show, Sin and Tonic, Sinatra Suite, Sinfonietta, " with my heart", Slavonika, The Sleeping Beauty, The Snow Maiden, Soir e Musicale, A Soldier's Tale, Solitaire (pas de deux), Solo, Some Assembly Required, Something Special, Some Times, La Sonnambula, Spartacus (pas de deux, Act III), S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A., Le Spectre de la Rose, Sphinx, The Sphinx, Spring and Fall, Spring Waters, States of Grace, Stepping Stones, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, A Streetcar Named Desire, Streetcar Royalty, Summer Day (pas de deux), Sunset, Swan Lake, Swan Lake (McKenzie), La Sylphide, Les Sylphides, Sylvia, Sylvia (pas de deux), Symphonic Variations, Symphonie Concertante, Symphony in C

Tales of Hoffmann, Tally Ho, or the Frail Quarry, The Taming (pas de deux), The Taming of the Shrew, Tarantella (pas de deux), Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Texas Fourth, Tha s Pas de Deux, Theatre, Theme and Variations, The Thief Who Loved a Ghost, This Property is Condemned, Three-Cornered Hat, Three Essays, Three Preludes, Three Virgins and a Devil, The Tiller in the Fields, Till Eulenspiegel, Time, Times Past, Top Hat and Tails, Torso, The Traitor, Transcendental Etudes, Triad, Trio a Deux, Troika, Triptych, Tristan (pas de deux), Tropical Pas de Deux, Turnstile

Undertow, Unfinished Symphony, Us (pas de deux)

Variations on 'America, Variations for Four, La Ventana, Vestris, Venetian Carnival, Voices of Spring, Voluntaries Walk This Way, Waltz Academy, The Wanderer (Errante), Way Out, Weren't We Fools?, The Wild Boy, The Wind in the Mountains, Winter's Eve, Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison, Without Words, The Wooden Prince (solo), Workout, workwithinwork

See also

  • List of American Ballet Theatre 2009 Fall repertory
  • List of American Ballet Theatre 2010 Spring repertory


External links

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