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A Stella(r) Career

The ABT Family Honors Stella Abrera in Her Farewell Season

Fancy Free. Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.
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A Stella(r) Career

Principal Dancer Stella Abrera is saying farewell to American Ballet Theatre this year, but her grace and artistry will be forever cherished by her colleagues and fans. Stella has captured the stage in contemporary favorites like Seven Sonatas and In the Upper Room, while steadily adding classical roles such as Giselle, Princess Aurora and Juliet to her repertoire. She has served as an inspiration for future dancers, coaching members of ABT Studio Company and mounting gala performances in the Philippines. Stella’s grace, humor, leadership and generosity as an artist will stay in our minds for many years to come.

The ABT family extends its deepest gratitude for all that Stella has shared, and we wish her well as she embarks on her next chapter, enriching the lives of young dancers.

Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.

"Stella has always been an example to her peers and her public. The artistry is supported by incredible work ethic, the focus is driven by a need to excel, the beauty is balanced with humility. She has given us all a reason to feel proud and will do the dance world proud as she takes on her next chapter in life as an artistic director."

- Kevin McKenzie, Artistic Director

Kara Medoff Barnett, Kevin McKenzie and Stella Abrera.
Photo: Vince Bucci.

Stella Abrera, Gillian Murphy and Misty Copeland.
Photo: Vince Bucci.

"Stella is a stellar example for all dancers. Her professionalism, kind and giving heart, as well as her work ethic, is admirable. She has respect and patience for everyone she encounters. Her dancing is so insanely ethereal and versatile. The story behind her journey on the road to Giselle sums up Stella in a nutshell. To fight for something you want and would love to experience and achieve with all of your being, against the setbacks of injury, and then have the end result produce one of the most incredible interpretations of the role I’ve ever seen, is mind-blowing. She’s one of the most loyal and caring friends as well."

- Misty Copeland, Principal Dancer

Stella Abrera as Giselle in Giselle.
Photo: Rosalie O’Connor.

Stella Abrera as Clara, the Princess in The Nutcracker.
Photo: Rosalie O’Connor.

"Stella’s versatility, glamour, and work ethic are constantly inspiring to witness. And she not only graces the stage with breathtaking artistry, but in her 24 years at ABT, she’s been an unwavering cheerleader for all of her fellow dancers, crew, and staff. I’m excited to celebrate her career thus far this season, and I’m looking forward to watching her continue to be an iconic force in the dance world."

- Gillian Murphy, Principal Dancer

Stella Abrera and Calvin Royal III in Bach Partita.
Photo: Gene Schiavone.

Stella Abrera and Gillian Murphy in In the Upper Room.
Photo: Rosalie O’Connor.

"The beauty of Stella is not that she bloomed into the great artist we know her to be, but HOW. In her own time, own way; with a work ethic, humility, and focus uniquely her own; it’s that individual journey that has made her this multilayered but ethereal and oh so human!"

- David Hallberg, Principal Dancer

Stella Abrera and David Hallberg in Whipped Cream.
Photo: Gene Schiavone.

Stella Abrera and James Whiteside in Romeo and Juliet.
Photo: John Grigaitis.

"Stella has an undefinable quality, very uniquely hers. She is a goddess with a heart of gold and a brilliant mind. While I will absolutely miss sharing the stage with her, I have no doubt she will to continue to change the dance landscape for the better. Love you, Stellatrix!"

- James Whiteside, Principal Dancer

Stella Abrera as Terpsichore in Apollo.
© The George Balanchine Trust. Photo: Rosalie O’Connor.

Stella Abrera in Seven Sonatas.
Photo: Gene Schiavone.

"Stella’s influence as an American Ballet Theatre ballerina is forever brilliant, iconic, and inspiring. She exudes strength, beauty, grace, and class in every role in her repertoire and also demonstrates these same qualities as a friend, colleague, mentor, and role model.  Stella’s dancing is generous, filling a house with warmth, sincerity, and phenomenal stage craft. Her leadership, work ethic, and humility in and out of the studios is what I strive for in my life and career. She’s set an exemplary standard of what it means to be a member of the ABT family."

- Lauren Bonfiglio, Corps de Ballet

Stella Abrera in 2015, upon learning of her promotion to Principal Dancer.
Photo: Daniil Simkin.

Stella Abrera as the Maiden in Firebird.
Photo: Marty Sohl.

"Stella has been one of my biggest inspirations for as long as I can remember. At first I just admired her stunning dancing but once I began to work with her I admired so much more. She is incredibly kind and caring and as a coach, gave me invaluable information. Stella is incredible at coaching technical aspects but what stood out to me is her brilliance in conveying how to be an artist. I will miss her both in the studios and on stage."

- Leah Baylin, Apprentice

Stella Abrera in The Leaves Are Fading.
Photo: Rosalie O’Connor.

Stella Abrera as Gulnare in Le Corsaire.
Photo: Rosalie O’Connor.

"Stella has always been an inspirational role model for me. When I joined ABT Studio Company, I was very fortunate to have her coach and mentor me in numerous repertoire and signature roles. Her dedication and nurturing for the younger generation dancers is so special and I am very grateful to have experienced it first hand. Stella is a beautiful and exquisite ballerina who will truly be missed from the stage!"

- Chloe Misseldine, Apprentice

Stella Abrera as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty.
Photo: Gene Schiavone.

Stella Abrera as the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty.
Photo: Gene Schiavone.

"Stella is the reason why I’m here today. She is one of the most influential people in my life."

- Elwince Magbitang, ABT Studio Company

Sascha Radetsky, Stella Abrera and James Whiteside with ABT Studio Company dancers in the Phillipines in 2019.
Photo: Ryan Ong.

Mary Jo Shen, Stella Abrera and Gillian Murphy.
Photo courtesy of Mary Jo and Ted Shen.

"Stella has constantly thrilled and inspired us through her exquisite, passionate artistry onstage and her boundless generosity of spirit offstage. We look forward to the new ways through which she will continue to enrich the dance realm and the world beyond!"

- Mary Jo and Ted Shen, Stella’s ABT Dancer Sponsors since 2014

James Whiteside, Cory Stearns, Herman Cornejo, Gillian Murphy and Stella Abrera in Fancy Free.
Photo: Rosalie O’Connor.