September 22, 2020
Autumn @ ABT
American Ballet Theatre Presents All-Virtual Fall Programming, Created in Isolated “Ballet Bubbles,” Featuring World Premieres by Gemma Bond, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Christopher Rudd and Pam Tanowitz
ABT Studio Company to Bubble for Seven Weeks, Preparing New Works For Digital Distribution
ABT 80th Anniversary Fall Gala Celebration Set for November 18 on Youtube
World Premieres by Gemma Bond, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Christopher Rudd and Pam Tanowitz are planned for digital release in Autumn 2020, it was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.
These new commissions will be created in quarantined settings and filmed to premiere at ABT’s 80th Anniversary Fall 2020 Gala, Wednesday, November 18, on American Ballet Theatre’s YouTube Channel and www.abt.org.
To create these works for digital distribution, ABT dancers and choreographers have embarked on four and five-week residencies in ballet bubbles at two locations in New York State. Each creation period adheres to strict medical and safety guidelines with a quarantine and testing period prior to the start of rehearsals. Behind-the-scenes footage, along with interviews with dancers and creators, will be captured for viewing on ABT’s social media platforms. Two individual ballet bubbles began September 21, 2020 at the Silver Bay YMCA Conference and Family Retreat Center in Silver Bay, New York and at P.S. 21 in Chatham, New York.
In Silver Bay, New York, choreographer and former ABT dancer Gemma Bond will create a new work set to John Harbison’s Variations for Clarinet, Violin and Piano for ABT dancers Breanne Granlund, Hee Seo, Katherine Williams, Carlos Gonzalez and newly promoted Principal Dancer Thomas Forster. Bond’s new work is her second for ABT, following A Time There Was (2019).
Also at Silver Bay, choreographer Christopher Rudd will create with recently promoted ABT Principal Dancer Calvin Royal III and corps de ballet member João Menegussi. Rudd’s new work, Touché, a male duet, is set to Que Te Mate Desierto, from the original motion picture score by Woodkid, and Giuseppe Tornatore Suite from the motion picture Malèna by Ennio Morricone and recorded by Yo-Yo Ma. Commissioned in early 2020 and delayed due to the pandemic, Touché is Rudd’s first work for American Ballet Theatre.
Simultaneously in Chatham, New York, six dancers will quarantine, train and create with choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie. Moultrie’s new work, his first for American Ballet Theatre, is a celebration of American jazz created to a score by Duke Ellington. The cast for Moultrie’s new work includes Anabel Katsnelson, Betsy McBride, Erica Lall, Jacob Clerico, Melvin Lawovi and Duncan McIlwaine.
Beyond the ballet bubbles but in an outdoor socially distanced setting, choreographer Pam Tanowitz will create a solo work in New York City for ABT Principal Dancer David Hallberg. Through a reflective look at Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt, Hallberg will dance in a new short film by Tanowitz and Jeremy Jacob. Tanowitz’s work, her first for American Ballet Theatre, combines classical, modern and quotidian vocabularies.
ABT STUDIO COMPANY
Fourteen dancers from ABT Studio Company, under the Artistic Direction of Sascha Radetsky, will bubble in two locations, Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, Connecticut and Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in Tivoli, New York, from September 27 through November 16. New works by choreographers including Hope Boykin, Jessica Lang and Lauren Lovette will be staged during the residencies.
Hope Boykin, recently retired from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater after a 20-year performing career, will create a new work for ABT Studio Company at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park. Boykin’s new work is her first for ABT Studio Company.
Jessica Lang’s work, Children’s Songs Dance, set to selections from Chick Corea’s “Children’s Songs,” was choreographed in early 2020, pre-pandemic, but not premiered. Children’s Songs Dance, a work for seven dancers, is Lang’s sixth work for ABT Studio Company.
Lauren Lovette’s new work, La Folia Variations, set to music of the same name by Francesco Geminiani, is a piece for eight dancers from ABT Studio Company. Although Lovette’s work was completed the day before ABT’s studios were closed in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was never performed for an audience. La Folia Variations is Lovette’s second work for ABT Studio Company after Le Jeune (2017).
Footage of ABT Studio Company repertoire captured during the residencies will be presented during an online presentation of new works (date TBC). ABT Studio Company’s training and rehearsals will also be captured and shared on ABT’s social media platforms throughout the residencies.
“This continuation of our 80th Anniversary programming represents the resiliency of our dancers and our collective desire to continue to create through crisis,” said McKenzie. “With the innovative spirit that has defined Ballet Theatre since 1940, we will continue our mission to extend our repertoire and share the power of ballet with the widest possible audience.”
For more information on American Ballet Theatre, online offerings and the ABT Crisis Relief Fund, please visit www.abt.org.
Commissions and presentations of new work by women choreographers throughout Autumn @ ABT are supported by the ABT Women’s Movement.
Champion support for the ABT Women’s Movement is provided by Jenna Segal.
Additional Leadership support provided by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and through an endowed gift from the Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.
Autumn @ ABT is generously supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation. Additional major support is provided by Mark Casey and Carrie Gaiser Casey, the Ford Foundation, and Denise Littlefield Sobel.
Bank of America – Lead Corporate Partner of ABT Studio Company.
LG Signature, The Global Electronics Partner of American Ballet Theatre.
American Airlines is the Official Airline of American Ballet Theatre.