Hosted by ballet historian Elizabeth Kaye, ABT’s Behind the Ballet pre-recorded lectures provide a look into each of the 2023 Summer season productions, drawing you into each ballet with musical and historical insight, clear synopses, and alluring anecdotes of rival ballerinas, style trends, and Tchaikovsky’s woes. Kaye’s unmistakable love of dance and its evolution is ever-present through each lecture, from the classics of Giselle, Swan Lake, and Romeo and Juliet to Christopher Wheeldon’s new work, Like Water for Chocolate.
Artistic Director Susan Jaffe, the architect behind the video series, acknowledged, “One of the biggest hurdles, I think to bringing in anybody new to ballet is that people, when they first come and sit in front of a ballet, they’re very intimidated. They think they’re supposed to know what’s going on.”
Recognizing the vocabulary of storytelling through movement can sometimes feel inaccessible, ABT hopes these videos can provide the tools and knowledge for theater goers and those who are looking to dive deeper to feel that much more excited and self-assured when attending or discussing these rich full-length productions.
While Behind the Ballet may be new to ABT, Elizabeth Kaye certainly is not. Kaye has been dedicated to ABT’s mission of sharing classical ballet to the widest possible audience, from her book American Ballet Theatre: A 25 Year Retrospective (1999) to her past and present pre-performance talks at the Met Opera House and Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Kaye has a longstanding history with the Company and is excited to welcome a whole new generation of balletomanes through this new series.
So, before you come to the Met and see one of ABT’s full-length productions between June 22 and July 22, be sure to check out Behind the Ballet with Elizabeth Kaye, so you can follow the emotion, beauty, and intricacies of each story with confidence.