Tuesday, May 25, 2010

American Ballet Theater Turns 70

 Julie Kent and Jose Manuel Carreño in Apollo. Photo courtesy of Marty Sohl

American Ballet Theater is celebrating it's 70th birthday this month, and held a gala at the Metropolitan Opera House to showcase it's spring repertoire (see pictures from the gala here). (Read the NY Times article about the gala, from a rather sarcastic and entertaining perspective.) ABT is one of the world's leading ballet companies, along with New York City Ballet and San Fransisco Ballet, according to the London Observer. So, what makes it so special? Here is a brief history of the company, facts every Dance Nerd should know!

ABT Trivia
  • Founded in 1937 and named Mordkin Ballet
  • Reorganized and renamed in 1940, Ballet Theater, with the aim "to develop a repertoire of the best ballets from the past and to encourage the creation of new works by gifted young choreographers."(from http://www.abt.org/insideabt/history.asp)
  • It's current name wasn't given until 1956
  • They have brought all the finest full-length ballets from the 19th and 20th centuries to the stage; ballets such as Swan Lake, Giselle, and Sleeping Beauty, Apollo, Les Sylphides, Airs, and Push Comes to Shove
  • In 1960, they became the first American ballet company to perform in the Soviet Union
  • They perform at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City and are also based in New York City

Famous ABT Dancers

Artistic Directors

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