October 24, 2019
New York Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Of Love and Rage to Highlight ABT’s 80th Anniversary Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House, May 11–July 4, 2020
80th Anniversary Season to Open with “ABTThen And Now”
Featuring Works by George Balanchine, Jessica Lang,
Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp and Antony Tudor
and 40th Anniversary Performances ff
La Bayadère To Honor Legendary Ballerina Natalia Makarova
Stella Abrera to Give Farewell Performance in Giselle,
Saturday Evening, June 13
Natalia Osipova, Olga Smirnova and Kimin Kim to Appear as
Guests Artists for the Season
American Ballet Theatre will celebrate its 80th Anniversary during the 2020 Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House with the New York Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Of Love and Rage, an opening week devoted to both new and historic works from the Company’s repertory, and the 40th Anniversary performances of Natalia Makarova’s production of La Bayadère. The Spring season was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.
Principal Dancers for the 2020 Metropolitan Opera House season include Stella Abrera, Isabella Boylston, Misty Copeland, Herman Cornejo, David Hallberg, Sarah Lane, Gillian Murphy, Hee Seo, Christine Shevchenko, Daniil Simkin, Cory Stearns, Devon Teuscher and James Whiteside. Guest Artists for the season include Natalia Osipova, principal dancer with The Royal Ballet, Olga Smirnova, principal dancer with Bolshoi Ballet, and Kimin Kim, principal dancer with Mariinsky Theater.
80th Anniversary – ABTomorrow Spring Gala
American Ballet Theatre will celebrate its 80th Anniversary with the ABTomorrow Spring Gala, a special evening celebrating eight decades of artistry including a showcase of student talent representing ABT’s artistic future. The ABTomorrow Spring Gala will highlight the Company’s past and future with anniversary video tributes, excerpts from beloved classics including Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet and La Bayadère, a preview of Alexei Ratmansky’s 2020 premiere of Of Love and Rage and a special performance by students of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.
A Gala dinner-dance on the Promenade of the David H. Koch Theater will follow the performance. For more information on ABT’s 80th Anniversary ABTomorrow Spring Gala, please call the Special Events Office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3242.
“ABT Then and Now”
American Ballet Theatre will open its Spring season on May 11 with a week of repertory programs representing the Company’s heritage and its most recent commissions. Four performances of “ABT Then,” will comprise works premiered by Ballet Theatre in the 1940s, including George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations (1947), Antony Tudor’s Jardin aux Lilas (1940) and Jerome Robbins’s Fancy Free (1944). Four performances of “ABT Now,” beginning Tuesday, May 12, will present works premiered by ABT over the past year. They include Jessica Lang’s Garden Blue, Twyla Tharp’s A Gathering of Ghosts and Alexei Ratmansky’s The Seasons.
New York Premiere – Of Love and Rage
The New York Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Of Love and Rage is set for Tuesday evening, June 2, 2020. Based on the first century historical romance novel Callirhoe by Chariton, Of Love and Rage tells the story of star-crossed lovers Callirhoe and Chaereas in ancient Greece. The ballet will be set to music by Aram Khachaturian, arranged by Philip Feeney, and will feature sets and costumes by Jean-Marc Puissant and lighting by Duane Schuler. Of Love and Rage, Ratmansky’s 17th work for American Ballet Theatre, will have its World Premiere on March 5, 2020 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. The ballet will be given seven performances at the Metropolitan Opera House through June 6.
La Bayadère – 40th Anniversary Performances
Four performances of La Bayadère will begin on Tuesday evening, May 19 with Isabella Boylston (Nikiya), Herman Cornejo (Solor) and Cassandra Trenary (Gamzatti) leading the opening night cast. The performance on Thursday evening, May 21 will honor choreographer and legendary ballerina Natalia Makarova on the occasion of ABT’s 40th Anniversary of the ballet. Guest Artists Olga Smirnova and Kimin Kim, along with ABT Principal Dancer Gillian Murphy, will lead the cast for the anniversary evening. The full-evening production of La Bayadère was conceived, directed and choreographed by Makarova, after Marius Petipa. The ballet is set to music by Ludwig Minkus, arranged by John Lanchbery, and features scenery by PierLuigi Samaritani, costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge and lighting by Toshiro Ogawa. Dina Makarova serves as production coordinator. Natalia Makarova first staged “The Kingdom of the Shades” scene for ABT in 1974 and subsequently produced and choreographed the complete version (in three acts) for ABT in 1980. The World Premiere of Makarova’s production was given on May 21 of that year performed by Makarova (Nikiya), Anthony Dowell (Solor) and Cynthia Harvey (Gamzatti).
Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet will be given eleven performances beginning Friday evening, May 22 with Stella Abrera and James Whiteside in the title roles. Guest Artist Natalia Osipova will dance the role of Juliet on Monday, May 25 opposite David Hallberg as Romeo. 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 Company Premiere at The 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.
Hee Seo (Giselle), Cory Stearns (Albrecht) and Devon Teuscher (Myrta) will lead the first of eight performances of Giselle beginning Monday evening, June 8. Guest Artist Natalia Osipova will perform the title role opposite David Hallberg as Albrecht on Thursday, June 11. Stella Abrera, a Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre since 2015, will give her farewell performance with the Company in the title role of Giselle on Saturday evening, June 13, dancing opposite James Whiteside as Albrecht and Gillian Murphy as Myrta.
Set to music by Adolphe Adam, with scenery by Gianni Quaranta, costumes by Anna Anni and lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Giselle features choreography after Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa and has been staged for ABT by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. 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. American Ballet Theatre’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.
The Sleeping Beauty will be given eight performances beginning Monday, June 15 with Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside in the leading roles. Set to the classic score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, The Sleeping Beauty has choreography by Marius Petipa and staging and additional choreography by Alexei Ratmansky, with assistance by Tatiana Ratmansky. The production features scenery and costumes by Tony Award®-winning designer Richard Hudson. Hudson’s designs are based on the historic work of Léon Bakst, who created a seminal version of The Sleeping Beauty for Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1921. The Sleeping Beauty received its World Premiere on March 3, 2015 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, danced by Diana Vishneva (Princess Aurora) and Marcelo Gomes (Prince Désiré).
Jane Eyre, choreographed by Cathy Marston, will be given five performances beginning Monday, June 22 with Devon Teuscher in the title role and James Whiteside as Rochester. The ballet features choreography and direction by Marston, music compiled and composed by Philip Feeney, scenery and costumes by Patrick Kinmonth and lighting by Brad Fields. Jane Eyre received its American Premiere by American Ballet Theatre on June 4, 2019 at the Metropolitan Opera House with Devon Teuscher in the title role and James Whiteside as Rochester. The production received its World Premiere by Northern Ballet on May 19, 2016 at the Cast Theatre in Doncaster, England performed by Dreda Blow as Jane Eyre and Javier Torres as Rochester. Jane Eyre is a co-production with The Joffrey Ballet and was staged for ABT by Jenny Tattersall and Daniel de Andrade.
Ten performances of Swan Lake, choreographed by Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, will round out the season, Friday, June 26 through Saturday matinee, July 4. The opening night cast on June 26 will be led by Hee Seo as Odette-Odile and Aran Bell as Prince Siegfried. Swan Lake features scenery and costumes by Zack Brown and lighting by Duane Schuler. This production of Swan Lake premiered on March 24, 2000 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. with Julie Kent (Odette-Odile), Angel Corella (Prince Siegfried) and Marcelo Gomes (von Rothbart).
ABTKids 80th Anniversary Edition
A special 80th Anniversary version of ABTKids comes to the Metropolitan Opera House on Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 11:00 AM. The 2020 ABTKids offers young audience members, ages 4–12, and their families a unique journey through the Company’s eight decades, with performances and activities themed to ABT’s history. The one-hour narrated program will present excerpts of ABT’s vast repertory from the 1940s through to the present. All seats for ABTKids are $25.
Subscriptions for American Ballet Theatre’s 2020 Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House, on sale beginning Wednesday, October 30 at 12 Noon, are available by phone at 212-362-6000, or online at ABT’s website www.abt.org.