November 8, 2007
ABT STUDIO COMPANY TO BE RENAMED ABT II
The ABT Studio Company, a small classical company of thirteen young dancers of outstanding potential, has been renamed ABT II, it was announced today by Kevin McKenzie, Artistic Director.
In changing the name from the ABT Studio Company to ABT II, ABT’s goal is to improve the company’s visibility to the general public. “ABT II can now more closely be associated with American Ballet Theatre’s standard of excellence,” said Wes Chapman, ABT II Artistic Director.
In addition to training dancers to enter American Ballet Theatre and other professional companies, ABT II provides opportunities for the emergence of new and established choreographers, composers and designers. Reaching more than 25,000 students each year through in-school lecture-demonstrations and performances, ABT II’s goal is to serve as a cultural ambassador to communities and schools across the nation.
American Ballet Theatre’s second company was founded in 1973 by Gage and Richard Englund as “American Ballet Theatre Presents its Ballet Repertory company.” The name was later changed to Ballet Repertory and then to ABT II. ABT II was disbanded in 1985 and the ABT Studio Company was formed in 1995. Since 1995, 43 dancers have moved onto careers with ABT including three as Principal Dancers and six as Soloists.
For its 2007-2008 season, the newly renamed ABT II will tour eight cities worldwide, including venues in Costa Rica, Bermuda, Andorra and Catalunya, Spain, Alaska and New York City’s Joyce Theater. Choreographers creating new work for ABT II this season include Lauri Stallings, Brian Reeder and Aszure Barton.
ABT II is funded, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.