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ABT News

August 30, 2018

Casting Announced for ABT’s 2018 Fall Season at David H. Koch Theater

Alessandra Ferri to Appear as Guest Artist

Isabella Boylson and Calvin Royal III in In the Upper Room. Photo: Patrick Fraser.

Casting for American Ballet Theatre’s 2018 Fall Season at the David H. Koch Theater was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

Principal Dancers for the 2018 Fall season include Stella Abrera, Isabella Boylston, Misty Copeland, Herman Cornejo, Sarah Lane, Gillian Murphy, Hee Seo, Christine Shevchenko, Cory Stearns, Devon Teuscher and James Whiteside.  Alessandra Ferri returns to ABT for the Fall season as a Guest Artist.

American Ballet Theatre’s Fall season will open with a Gala performance on Wednesday, October 17 at 6:30pm.  As part of the ABT Women’s Movement initiative, the Fall Gala performance will be devoted to works by female choreographers.  The evening will feature Le Jeune, choreographed by Lauren Lovette and performed by the ABT Studio Company, and a World Premiere by tap dancer and choreographer Michelle Dorrance, co-commissioned with the Vail Dance Festival.  Rounding out the Gala performance will be Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room, led by Cassandra Trenary, Devon Teuscher, Gillian Murphy, Herman Cornejo, Roman Zhurbin, Blaine Hoven, Isabella Boylston and Joseph Gorak.  Skylar Brandt, Alexandra Basmagy, Catherine Hurlin, Cory Stearns, Calvin Royal III, Duncan Lyle, Misty Copeland and Thomas Forster will dance these roles on Friday, October 19.

Last performed by American Ballet Theatre in 2012, In the Upper Room is set to music by Philip Glass with costumes by Norma Kamali and lighting by Jennifer Tipton.  A ballet in nine parts, In the Upper Room was given its World Premiere by Twyla Tharp Dance on August 28, 1986.  In the Upper Room received its ABT Company Premiere on December 10, 1988 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, California.  The ballet will be staged for ABT by Shelley Washington and Richard Colton.

American Ballet Theatre will give the season’s first performance of George Balanchine’s Symphonie Concertante on Thursday evening, October 18 with Hee Seo, Isabella Boylston and Blaine Hoven debuting in the leading roles.  Stella Abrera, Gillian Murphy and Alexandre Hammoudi will lead the cast at the matinee on Saturday, October 20, with Hammoudi making his debut in the ballet.  Christine Shevchenko, Devon Teuscher and Thomas Forster will dance  these roles for the first time at the matinee on Sunday, October 21. Last performed by ABT in 2007, Symphonie Concertante is set to music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Sinfonia Concertante in E flat Major for Violin and Viola K. 364) with costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge and lighting by David K. H. Elliott.  Symphonie Concertante received its World Premiere by Ballet Society at the City Center Theater in New York on November 12, 1947, with Maria Tallchief, Tanaquil LeClerq and Todd Bolender.  The ballet received its American Ballet Theatre Company Premiere at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on January 19, 1983, danced by Cynthia Gregory, Martine van Hamel and Patrick Bissell.  Symphonie Concertante is staged for ABT by Susan Jones.

The 2018 Fall season will present Jerome Robbins’s Fancy Free and Other Dances in tribute to the choreographer’s centennial.  Performances of Fancy Free, which also commemorate the centennial of composer Leonard Bernstein, begin Thursday evening,

October 18, danced by Herman Cornejo, Cory Stearns, James Whiteside, Stella Abrera and Gillian Murphy.  At the matinee on Saturday, October 20, Arron Scott will dance the role of the first sailor for the first time in New York, while Thomas Forster and Calvin Royal III will make their debuts as the second and third sailors, respectively. Staged for ABT by Jean-Pierre Frohlich, the ballet features scenery by Oliver Smith, costumes by Kermit Love and lighting by Jennifer Tipton, after Nananne Porcher.  Fancy Free received its World Premiere by American Ballet Theatre on April 18, 1944 at the Metropolitan Opera House.

The season’s first performance of Other Dances will take place on Saturday evening, October 20, danced by Hee Seo and Cory Stearns.  Sarah Lane and Herman Cornejo will make their New York debuts in the ballet at the matinee on Sunday, October 28.  Set to a waltz and four mazurkas by Frédéric Chopin, Other Dances features costumes by Santo Loquasto and original lighting by Nananne Porcher.  The plotless, classical character pas de deux was created by Robbins for a Gala evening for the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center at the Metropolitan Opera House on May 9, 1976, performed by Natalia Makarova and Mikhail Baryshnikov.  Other Dances is staged for American Ballet Theatre by Isabelle Guérin.

The first of four performances of Alexei Ratmansky’s Songs of Bukovina will take place on Friday, October 19, led by Isabella Boylston and Blaine Hoven, in his debut in the role.  Set to Bukovinian Songs (24 Preludes for Piano) by Leonid Desyatnikov, the ballet features costumes by Moritz Junge and lighting by Brad Fields.  Songs of Bukovina received its World Premiere on October 18, 2017 at the David H. Koch Theater in New York danced by Christine Shevchenko and Calvin Royal III.


Tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s 2018 Fall season at the David H. Koch Theater, priced from $25, are available online, at the Koch Theater box office or by phone at 212-496-0600.  Performance-only tickets for the Opening Night Gala begin at $30.  The David H. Koch Theater is located at Lincoln Center, Broadway and 63rd Street in New York City.  For more information, please visit ABT’s website at


The World Premiere by Michelle Dorrance has been generously supported by Denise Littlefield Sobel, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and through an endowed gift from the Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.

The World Premiere by Jessica Lang has been generously supported by Denise Littlefield Sobel, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and through an endowed gift from the Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.

Symphonie Concertante has been generously supported through an endowed gift from the Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.

Fancy Free is generously underwritten by an endowed gift by Avery and Andrew F. Barth, in honor of Laima and Rudolf Barth.

Leadership support for The Ratmansky Project has been provided by Avery and Andrew F. Barth, the Blavatnik Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton E. James, and The Ted and Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund. Additional support has been provided by Dr. Joan Taub Ades, Linda Allard, Sarah Arison, Steven Backes, Lisa and Dick Cashin, Mark Casey and Carrie Gasier Casey, The Susan and Leonard Feinstein Foundation, Linda and Martin Fell, Vicki Netter Fitzgerald, William J. Gillespie, Brian J. Heidtke, Caroline and Edward Hyman, The Marjorie S. Isaac/Irving H. Isaac Fund, Robin Chemers Neustein, Howard S. Paley, Pearl T. Maxim Trust, Lloyd E Rigler – Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation, Bernard L. Schwartz, John Leland Sills and Elizabeth Papadopoulos-Sills, Melissa A. Smith, The H. Russell Smith Foundation/Stewart R. Smith and Robin A. Ferracone, Martin and Toni Sosnoff Foundation, Sutton Stracke, and Sedgwick Ward.

Leadership support for AFTERITE has been provided by The Leila and Mickey Straus Family Foundation. Additional support is provided through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.

Le Jeune was commissioned with leadership support from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Additional support provided by Denise Littlefield Sobel.

American Airlines is the Official Airline of American Ballet Theatre.

 Northern Trust is the Leading Corporate Sponsor of the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.

ABT is supported, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

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