Angel Corella in a 2005 performance as Aminta, from Frederick Ashton’s ballet Sylvia. Photo by Gene Schiavone.
The American Ballet Theatre was founded in 1940 under the direction of Lucia Chase and Oliver Smith. They perform at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. They also tour all over the world. In 1960 they were the first ballet company in American to perform in the Soviet Union. They have also performed 15 world tours to 42 different countries. ABT is the only major company to tour the United States annually and has visited all 50 states.
Some of the great choreographers to have created works for ABT include; George Balanchine, Anthony Tudor, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille and Twyla Tharp.
In 1976 their production of The Nutcracker with Mikhail Baryshnikov is now a television classic. Baryshnikov was the Artistic Director for the company from 1980-1989. Today the American Ballet Theatre is under the direction of Kevin McKenzie. His vision is to mainatain the great classics in the company’s repertoire and bring “the magic of dance theater to the great stages of the world”.
The American Ballet Theatre’s school, ABT II is a group of young dancers (ages 16-20) hand picked from around the world. They have a rigorous training schedule that includes classes, rehearsals and performances. After their training is over the students may then join the company or another professional ballet company.