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December 1, 2020

American Ballet Theatre Announces Cancellation of 2021 Season at the Metropolitan Opera House

Digital and Outdoor Performances Planned for the First Half of 2021

Scene from Swan Lake. Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.

American Ballet Theatre announced today the cancellation of its 2021 Season at the Metropolitan Opera House.  The season, originally planned for June and July of 2021, has been cancelled due to health and safety concerns related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on non-essential gatherings.

“While we cannot safely gather to rehearse this spring and perform live for our beloved audiences at Lincoln Center, we are inspired by the resiliency and optimism of our dancers and staff,” said Kara Medoff Barnett, ABT Executive Director.  “We will continue to find novel ways to create through crisis and to share our artistry with the widest possible audience nationwide and worldwide.”

“It is with deep regret that ABT will miss another season at the Metropolitan Opera House,” said Kevin McKenzie, ABT Artistic Director.  “Since 1976, the Company has performed regular seasons at the Met, so the loss of two seasons on the iconic Met stage weighs heavily.  Our dancers, musicians, staff, and crew look forward to the day when we can return to this magnificent opera house and perform live for our loyal fans.”

In the months ahead, American Ballet Theatre plans robust offerings of new choreography, created in remote ballet bubbles under strict medical and health guidelines in upstate New York and Southern California, and additional locations to be announced.  Digital productions and outdoor socially distanced performances around the United States are planned for spring 2021.  Outdoor performances in and around New York City are in the works for summer 2021.

Choreographers premiering new works with ABT in 2021 include New York City Ballet principal dancer Lauren Lovette, Darrell Grand Moultrie, ABT Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky, and Sonya Tayeh.

“The unprecedented challenges of the pandemic have been catalytic fuel for transformation,” said McKenzie.  “This has been a time of exploring new ways of working and collaborating as we extend the repertoire, and as we find new storytelling partners and platforms to bring the artistry of ABT to the world.”

Additional creative activity planned for 2021 includes ABT Incubator, in its first year under the Artistic Directorship of ABT dancer Jose Sebastian, and new commissions for ABT Studio Company.

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