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November 16, 2022

New York Premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Like Water For Chocolate to Highlight American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Season at the Metropolitan Opera House, June 22–July 22, 2023

Subscriptions On Sale Wednesday, November 16 At 1:00 P.M.

ABT - slswans7roScene from Swan Lake. Photo: Rosalie O’Connor.

NEW YORK, NY  – American Ballet Theatre’s 2023 Summer season at the Metropolitan Opera House, June 22 – July 22, will feature the New York Premiere of Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon’s Like Water for Chocolate. Three of ABT’s most beloved classic productions, Giselle, Swan Lake, and Romeo and Juliet, will round out the season, announced today by incoming Artistic Director Susan Jaffe.

Principal Dancers for the 2023 Summer season include Joo Won Ahn, Aran Bell, Isabella Boylston, Skylar Brandt, Daniel Camargo, Herman Cornejo, Thomas Forster, Catherine Hurlin, Gillian Murphy, Calvin Royal III, Hee Seo, Christine Shevchenko, Cory Stearns, Devon Teuscher, Cassandra Trenary, James Whiteside, and Roman Zhurbin.

Opening Night Gala and New York Premiere

The Opening Night Gala performance, taking place on Thursday evening, June 22 at 6:30 P.M. at the Metropolitan Opera House, marks the New York Premiere of Like Water for Chocolate, a three-act ballet inspired by Laura Esquivel’s bestselling novel of the same name. From the award-winning team of choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and composer Joby Talbot, this co-production with The Royal Ballet features scenery and costumes by Bob Crowley, lighting by Natasha Katz, and video design by Luke Halls.

Like Water for Chocolate tells the story of Tita, a young Mexican woman who is overwhelmed by a sense of duty and family tradition. Tita’s only form of expression is through cooking, but her life takes an unexpected turn when she falls in forbidden love with her wealthy neighbor Pedro. The ballet received its World Premiere by The Royal Ballet on June 2, 2022 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. It is scheduled to receive its North American Premiere by American Ballet Theatre on March 29, 2023 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. The ballet will receive 12 performances through Saturday, July 1 during ABT’s Summer season at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Classic Full-Lengths

The season’s first performance of the full-length production of Giselle will be given on Monday evening, July 3 at 7:30 P.M., with Hee Seo in the title role alongside Cory Stearns as Albrecht. Staged by Kevin McKenzie with choreography after Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, and Marius Petipa, Giselle is set to music by Adolphe Adam, orchestrated by John Lanchbery, with scenery by Gianni Quaranta, costumes by Anna Anni, and lighting by Jennifer Tipton. The world premiere of Giselle, one of the oldest continually performed ballets, occurred at the Theatre de l’Academie Royale de Musique in Paris on June 28, 1841. The ballet was first presented by ABT (then Ballet Theatre) at the Center Theatre in New York City on January 12, 1940, with choreography by Anton Dolin and scenery and costumes by Lucinda Ballard. The leading roles were danced by Annabelle Lyon and Anton Dolin. ABT’s sixth production, featuring scenery by Gianni Quaranta and costumes by Anna Anni, was created for the film Dancers, produced in 1987 by Cannon Films. This production’s first public performance was given on March 20, 1987 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, with Marianna Tcherkassky as Giselle and Kevin McKenzie as Albrecht. The current staging is by McKenzie, using the Quaranta and Anni designs. Giselle will be given eight performances at the Metropolitan Opera House through July 8.

ABT’s Summer season continues on Monday, July 10 with the first performance of Swan Lake, led by Isabella Boylston as Odette-Odile and Daniel Camargo as Prince Siegfried. Set to music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake is choreographed by Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov andfeatures scenery and costumes by Zack Brown and lighting by Duane Schuler. This production of Swan Lake premiered on March 24, 2000 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. with Julie Kent (Odette-Odile) and Angel Corella (Prince Siegfried). The ballet will be given eight performances this season.

Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet will open on Tuesday evening, July 18 with Devon Teuscher and Aran Bell in the title roles.  Set to the score by Sergei Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet features scenery and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis, and lighting by Thomas Skelton. Romeo and Juliet received its World Premiere by The Royal Ballet in London on February 9, 1965 and was given its ABT Premiere at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 1985 with Leslie Browne and Robert La Fosse in the leading roles. It will be given seven performances through July 22 at the Metropolitan Opera House.


ABTKids, American Ballet Theatre’s annual one-hour introduction to ballet for families, is scheduled for Saturday morning, June 24 at 11:00 A.M. All tickets for ABTKids are $25.


Subscriptions for American Ballet Theatre’s 2023 Summer season at the Metropolitan Opera House, on sale beginning Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 1:00 P.M., are available by phone at 212-362-6000, or online at ABT’s website



American Ballet Theatre is one of the greatest dance companies in the world. Revered as a national treasure since its founding season in 1940, its mission is to create, present, preserve, and extend the great repertoire of classical dancing for the widest possible audience. Headquartered in New York City, ABT is the only cultural institution of its size and stature to extensively tour, enchanting audiences for eight decades in 50 U.S. states, 45 countries, and over 480 cities worldwide. ABT’s repertoire includes full-length classics from the nineteenth century, the finest works from the early twentieth century, and acclaimed contemporary masterpieces. In 2006, by an act of Congress, ABT was designated America’s National Ballet Company®.


American Ballet Theatre’s performances of Romeo and Juliet are generously underwritten through an endowed gift from Ali and Monica Wambold.


American Ballet Theatre’s performances of Giselle are generously supported through an endowed gift from Sharon Patrick.


Swan Lake is generously underwritten by R. Chemers Neustein.


Commissions and presentations of new works by women choreographers are supported by the ABT Women’s Movement. Champion support for the ABT Women’s Movement is provided by Jenna Segal. Additional leadership support is provided by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.


ABT’s Choreographic Innovation and Inspiration and Inclusion programs are generously supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation. Additional major support is provided by Mark Casey and Carrie Gaiser Casey, the Ford Foundation, The Ted and Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund and through an endowed gift from the Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.


Special thanks to Denise Littlefield Sobel for her leadership gifts to: ABT’s Media Fund, advancing the Company’s digital endeavors; and ABT RISE, fueling the Company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.


ABTKids is generously sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies.


American Airlines is a proud sponsor of American Ballet Theatre.



ABT is supported, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of The Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.


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