Week of June 8-12, 2020
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Welcome to ABTKids Daily, American Ballet Theatre’s new home for families and educators to discover digital content for their virtual classrooms. Join us each day to Meet an ABT Dancer, engage with an ABT Teaching Artist, learn fun facts and enjoy ballet-themed activities from the comfort of your own home.
As America’s National Ballet Company®, ABT is dedicated to preserving and extending the great legacy of classical dancing, through exciting performances and educational programming of the highest quality, presented to the widest possible audience.
Join us each Monday morning to bring the joy of classical ballet to your family. A weekly curriculum will be posted for your discovery!
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Explore this week’s materials below or view the archive here.
Since its creation in 1841, Giselle has been the longest continuously performed ballet in the world. This timeless story was part of American Ballet Theatre’s inaugural season in 1940 and over its 80–year history, there have been 6 different productions, the most of any ballet in ABT’s repertoire!
Join corps de ballet dancers Courtney Lavine and Zimmi Coker as they introduce Giselle and the mysterious characters they play… the Wilis.
Join one of ABT’s Teaching Artists as they introduce you to one of ABT’s fabulous ballets. Learn a dance, stop and sketch, and don’t forget to have fun!
Up this week: Ms. Wendy!
In the early 19th century, ballet audiences began to tire from the mythical themes of ancient gods and goddesses that dominated the ballet landscape. Instead they wanted to watch stories that they could relate with, stories about real people from real places.
This change ushered in the Romantic Era which began in the early 1830’s and tapered off around the start of the next century. Use the slides below to learn about the Romantic era and the ballets that have inspired generations of dancers and ballet-lovers!
Every Thursday we pull a photo from our archives and share it with one of our ABT dancers. You never know what stories may come from a single snapshot!
This photo represents the last ABT Summer Intensive I participated in before joining ABT Studio Company in 2014. That summer, my level danced excerpts from La Bayadère. I was lucky enough to share the main role of Gamzatti with Erica Lall, who is also a member of ABT’s corps de ballet. Because we had a larger group that year, we had two Gamzattis dance in each performance. It was a fun and different experience getting to share that role with Erica as we each took turns dancing the allegro and adagio section. Erica and I knew each other from previous ABT Summer Intensives which allowed us to grow pretty close as friends throughout the years. Not to mention, we are both from Texas! One moment I will never forget, and find very special, is the day before our final performance in the Summer Intensive showcase. Erica and I were both offered ABT Studio Company contracts for the upcoming season starting in the fall. We were ecstatic!
Fun fact, La Bayadère has been a ballet that I’ve grown to love and cherish. I performed pieces of the ballet for the first time in the ABT Summer Intensive in 2014, then again in ABT Studio Company in 2016, and finally with the main Company in 2018 at the Metropolitan Opera House. La Bayadère holds many memories, one being that in this ballet I performed my first solo with the main company. It is truly one of the most challenging ballets I’ve ever danced but has also been incredibly humbling and rewarding. It gives me that feeling of “a job well done” when I find myself struggling to stand at the end of the show. I feel so honored to have been able to perform this beautiful ballet many times through the years and I look forward to the many more years to come.
Write about a work of art (ballet, musical, painting, etc.) that you have grown to love and why.
In 1841, Giselle was wowing audiences in Paris, the “Machine for Sticking Pins in Paper” was invented, and the United State of America had three presidents!
After learning about the exciting world events of 1841, choose an adult (parent, grandparent, uncle/aunt, neighbor) and ask them what year they were born. Write the year on the top of the worksheet below and do your best to learn as many exciting things as you can from that year.
What types of Google searches might you use?
In the Spring of 2020, @ABTSchool launched virtual classes taught by former ABT dancers, ABT JKO School faculty and ABT teaching artists – all certified in the ABT National Training Curriculum.
These classes engaged, recommended for ages 2-4 and 5-8, by explore musicality, foster creativity and imagination, and teach ballet fundamentals. These classes engage ABT’s youngest students and their families, as well as the global community at large!
View the full series on @ABTSchool IGTV or ABT’s YouTube Channel.