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ABTKids Daily

Week of March 1-5, 2021

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Experience the excitement of classical ballet at home with ABTKids Daily!

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!

 

ABTKids Daily is generously supported by
Bloomberg Philanthropies

 

Explore this week’s materials below or view the archive here.

 

Watch ABTKids 2020: B is for Ballet!
Presented in partnership with Random House Children’s Books,
the program is inspired by B Is for Ballet: A Dance Alphabet.

Week of March 1-5, 2021


To Read

To Watch

To Do

Women's History Week

ABTKids Daily is proud to celebrate the beginning of Women’s History Month! The origins of this national celebration began in 1981 when the United States Congress passed a bill authorizing and requesting President Ronald Reagan to proclaim the week of March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987, after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, the US Congress officially recognized the entire month of March as “Women’s History Month.”

This March, we celebrate and recognize all of the achievements that women have made to American Ballet Theatre and the art form of classical and contemporary dance.

The story of American Ballet Theatre could never be told without honoring the hundreds of talented women who have laced up their pointe shoes to bring their incredible grace and artistry to stages across the globe for over 80 years. It can also not be told without the choreographers, designers, musicians, stage managers, staff, and crew who have been instrumental in bringing more that 400 ballets to the stage.

ABT’s story also includes amazing women such as Florence Pettan, Rhoda Oster, Myra Armstrong, and Cathy Brown, who spent more than half their lives working tirelessly behind the scenes to bring their joy, love, and professionalism to American Ballet Theatre.

Women’s History Month at ABT would not be complete without celebrating Office Manager Roseanne Forni, who for more than 40 years has been the heart and soul of the organization. Roseanne is the first person to greet our dancers, staff, and guests every morning at American Ballet Theatre’s studios. Her warmth, love, and care remind everyone that they are not just coming to work, but they are arriving to spend a day with family… and that is just as important as celebrating 32 fouettés!

Meet A Dancer An Executive Director Monday

Kara Medoff Barnett

Teaching Artist Tuesday

Join one of ABT’s Teaching Artists as they introduce you to ABT and its ballets. Learn a dance, stop and sketch, and don’t forget to have fun!

Up this week: Sandra Brown, former ABT Soloist and current Ballet Master at Colorado Ballet.

Agnes de Mille's Rodeo

Photo: Greg Gorman.

What’s up Wednesday 

Twyla Tharp

While Agnes de Mille was one of ABT’s pioneering female choreographers, no one has been more prolific than Twyla Tharp. She has 16 ballets commissioned by American Ballet Theatre and a total of 22 ballets in ABT’s repertoire!

Since graduating from college in 1963, Ms. Tharp has choreographed more than one hundred thirty-five dances, five Hollywood movies, directed and choreographed three Broadway shows, written two books and received one Tony Award, two Emmy Awards, nineteen honorary doctorates, the Vietnam Veterans of America President’s Award, the 2004 National Medal of the Arts and many grants including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Learn More

Rebus Puzzles

Today you have the challenge of trying to identify some of Ms. Tharp’s ballets in the form of rebus puzzles, a device that combines the use of illustrated pictures with letters to depict word, phrases, or in this case the names of ballets!

Fun Fact: The term rebus comes from the Latin phrase non verbis, sed rebus, which means “not by words, but by things.”

(Click on the image to download.)

Rebus Answers

  • Baker’s Dozen
  • Americans We
  • Quartet
  • The Little Ballet
  • Jump Start
Photo: Annemarie Heinrich.

Throwback Thursday

ABT Co-Founder Lucia Chase

Lucia Chase, co-founder of American Ballet Theatre, was a brilliant, charismatic American arts pioneer. She began her ballet training in her 20s and didn’t make her stage debut until she was 38 years old!

She founded Ballet Theatre (later renamed American Ballet Theatre) as a Principal Dancer with Richard Pleasant in 1939. By 1945 she was both Principal Dancer and Co-Artistic Director and an audience favorite who was well-respected both on-stage and off.

She originated roles in ballets of Anthony Tudor and Agnes de Mille, enjoying a rich stage career, performing roles into her eighties! She had a real eye for talent, ushering in great choreographers like Twyla Tharp, Jerome Robbins, and Glen Tetley. Mikhail Baryshnikov came to American Ballet Theatre at her urging and in 1980 she passed the torch for him to succeed her as Director.

Ms. Chase, a titan in the dance world and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, is a huge part of ABT’s vibrant history. Because of her courage and passion, the United States has a national ballet company and American Ballet Theatre thrives on her incomparable legacy!

The Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame

Lucia Chase was inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame for 2018.  The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame publicly honors the achievements of Connecticut women, preserves their stories, educates the public and inspires the continued achievements of women and girls.

Film courtesy of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.

Writing Prompt

If you could spend a day with any inspirational women from history, who would it be and why?

Funtime Friday

ABT Women's Movement

The ABT Women’s Movement is an ongoing initiative to support the creation, exploration, and staging of new works by female choreographers for American Ballet Theatre and ABT Studio Company.

Since the inception of the ABT Women’s Movement in 2016, ABT and ABT Studio Company have commissioned a combined 27 original works by female choreographers. This week we are honored to sit down for a discussion with choreographer Gemma Bond and Women’s Movement Champion Supporter Jenna Segal!

ABT JKO School Children's Division Online Community Classes

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.

Recommended for ages 2-4 and 5-8, these classes engage ABT’s youngest students and their families, as well as the global community at large, by exploring musicality, fostering creativity and imagination, and teaching ballet fundamentals.

View the full series on @ABTSchool IGTV or ABT’s YouTube Channel.

@ABTSchool IGTVYouTube

Photo: Richard Corman.