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American Ballet Theatre
The American Ballet Theatre (ABT) falls among the leading ballet companies in the US. The company tours across the country and in international locations. It performs for millions of excited audiences. The company toured 45 countries to promote American ballet dance on the global platform.
The classical ballet company is popular for performing full-length works from the 19th and 20th centuries. Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Duets, etc., are some well-known works recreated by the company.
Do you want to watch the dancers perform classical ballet live? Go through the complete information mentioned on our website to know more.
Formation of the American Ballet Theatre
Lucia Chase and Richard Pleasant founded the Ballet Theatre in 1939. The company was set up in New York City. They gave the first performance on 11th January 1940.
The founding duo kept the ballet company running despite financial difficulties. Lucia Chase developed full-length ballets from well-known works and original creations. Olive Smith joined the company in 1945 as the co-director.
The ballet company represented American dance in its Europe continental tour after WWII. It was also performed internationally under the guidance of the State Department in 1953. The company became American Ballet Theatre in 1957, and the financial limitations continued to persist.
It wasn’t until the 1960s and 70s that the company breathed a sigh of relief, thanks to private funding. Finally, the company could recruit star ballet dancers and plan shows to attract the public.
ABT is also the first classical ballet company from the US to perform in USSR. The company toured the region from 13 September to 23rd October 1960 and sold out tickets for all shows. The American Ballet Theatre had its spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1977.
From the 1980s Onward
Mikhail Baryshnikov, a Soviet Latvian-born Russian-American dancer, joined the American Ballet Theatre as Artistic Director in 1980. He reworked the ballets and restaged them, bringing greater success to the ballet company.
Jane Hermann and Oliver Smith continued Mikhail’s success from 1990. They were clear about maintaining the traditions of classical ballet while finding ways to sustain themselves for the future. Kevin McKenzie, a former Principal Dancer from ABT, became the Artistic Director in 1992. He was focused on following the footsteps of those before him.
American Ballet Theatre enjoys a prominent place and continues to stage shows every year. You can gather more information on our website.