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ABTKids Daily

Week of March 8-12, 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 8-12, 2021

To Read

To Watch

To Do

Program cover for American Ballet Theatre’s first performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in September 1971.
Program cover for American Ballet Theatre’s first performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in September 1971.

Kennedy Center Week

In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed bipartisan legislation creating a National Cultural Center in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.   Following the assassination of President Kennedy this National Cultural Center was designated as a living memorial to him as a recognition of President Kennedy’s devotion to the advancement of the performing arts in the United States.

The Kennedy Center officially opened to the public in September 1971 and American Ballet Theatre is proud to be the first ballet company to perform in the Kennedy Center’s majestic 2300 seat Opera House.

This year the Kennedy Center proudly celebrates its 50th Anniversary and American Ballet Theatre can proudly say that we have performed in every single season, including 2020 just before the pandemic shut down theatres across the country!   The Kennedy Center has hosted World Premieres of some of ABT’s most successful ballets:

  • The Nutcracker (Baryshnikov)  – 1976
  • Don Quixote (Baryshnikov) –  1978
  • Romeo and Juliet (MacMillan) – 1985
  • Swan Lake (McKenzie) – 2000

We welcome you to visit the Kennedy Center’s magnificent website to learn about their mission, history and future.

The Kennedy Center

Meet A Dancer Monday

Susan Jones, ABT Regisseur

Today we meet ABT Regissuer Susan Jones, who joined American Ballet Theatre as a dancer on January 11, 1971.  This marks Susan’s 50th year with American Ballet Theatre and is the only current member of the Company to have performed in ABT’s inaugural season at the Kennedy Center in September 1971.

Join us as Susan describes why the Kennedy Center has been and always will be “home” for America’s National Ballet Company®!

Susan Jones

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: Kylie Murray, Kennedy Center Teaching Artist.

Art in Motion

What’s up Wednesday 

Bringing ABT to the Kennedy Center

Have you ever wondered what it takes to coordinate hundreds of costumes, truckloads of scenery, sets, flooring and lighting equipment from ABT’s warehouse in Secaucus, New Jersey to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and then put on a performance three to four days later?

You’ve come to the right place!    Today we sit down with ABT Director of Production, N. James Whitehill III and Kennedy Center Vice President, Production Glenn Turner as they explain how both organizations work closely together to bring ABT’s ballets to the majestic Kennedy Center Opera House.

Throwback Thursday

The Kennedy Center Honors

Every year the Kennedy Center Honors celebrates the contributions and careers of artists who have left an indelible mark on our shared American culture and character.

ABT dancers and choreographers to receive the award include:

  • Mikhail Baryshnikov
  • Agnes de Mille
  • Natalia Makarova
  • Jerome Robbins
  • Maria Tallchief
  • Twyla Tharp
  • Antony Tudor

Today we flashback to 2017 when ABT Principal Dancer Misty Copeland honored dance legend (and former ABT guest artist) Carmen de Lavallade.

Writing Prompt

What artist would you like to see one day receive a Kennedy Center Honor?

Funtime Friday

World Premiere of Kevin McKenzie's Swan Lake

On March 24, 2000, American Ballet Theatre premiered a new production of Swan Lake, choreographed by Kevin McKenzie, at the Kennedy Center.

Fun Fact: This production of Swan Lake is the only ballet that ABT has performed consecutively for the last 20 years!

Swan Lake

Susan Jaffe in Swan Lake in 2000. Photo: Paul Kolnik.

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.