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ABT News

August 18, 2021

American Ballet Theatre’s 2021 Fall Season at David H. Koch Theater, October 20-31

Box Office Opens September 8 at 10:00 A.M.

Casting for American Ballet Theatre’s 2021 Fall season has been announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

Principal Dancers for the 2021 Fall season at the Koch Theater include Joo Won Ahn, Aran Bell, Isabella Boylston, Skylar Brandt, Herman Cornejo, Thomas Forster, Gillian Murphy, Calvin Royal III, Hee Seo, Christine Shevchenko, Cory Stearns, Devon Teuscher, Cassandra Trenary, and James Whiteside.

The 2021 Fall season will open on Wednesday evening, October 20 at 7:30 P.M. with the first of six performances of the full-length production of Giselle.  Hee Seo will lead the cast in the title role on opening night, alongside Cory Stearns as Albrecht and Devon Teuscher as Myrta.  Cassandra Trenary, Calvin Royal III, and Zhong-Jing Fang will dance these leading roles for the first time at the matinee on Saturday, October 23.  Christine Shevchenko will debut as Giselle on Saturday evening, October 23, dancing opposite Aran Bell in his New York debut as Albrecht.  On Thursday, October 21, Skylar Brandt will make her New York debut in the title role dancing opposite Herman Cornejo as Albrecht, and Catherine Hurlin will also make her New York debut as Myrta.  Thomas Forster will make his New York debut as Albrecht on Friday evening, October 22 dancing opposite Gillian Murphy as Giselle and Katherine Williams as Myrta.

Staged by Kevin McKenzie with choreography after Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, and Marius Petipa, Giselle is set to music by Adolphe Adam, orchestrated by John Lanchbery, with scenery by Gianni Quaranta, costumes by Anna Anni, and lighting by Jennifer Tipton.  The world premiere of Giselle, one of the oldest continually performed ballets, occurred at the Theatre de l’Academie Royale de Musique in Paris on June 28, 1841.  The ballet was first presented by ABT (then Ballet Theatre) at the Center Theatre in New York City on January 12, 1940, with choreography by Anton Dolin and scenery and costumes by Lucinda Ballard.  The leading roles were danced by Annabelle Lyon and Anton Dolin.  ABT’s sixth production, featuring scenery by Gianni Quaranta and costumes by Anna Anni, was created for the film Dancers, produced in 1987 by Cannon Films.  This production’s first public performance was given on March 20, 1987 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, with Marianna Tcherkassky as Giselle and Kevin McKenzie as Albrecht. The current staging is by McKenzie, using the Quaranta and Anni designs.

The New York stage premiere of Christopher Rudd’s Touché will highlight American Ballet Theatre’s Fall Gala performance on Tuesday, October 26 at 6:30 P.M. with Calvin Royal III and João Menegussi in the leading roles.

Touché, choreographed by Rudd and set to music by Woodkid (Que Te Mate el Desierto) and Ennio Morricone (Giuseppe Tornatore Suite from Malena) with intimacy direction by Sarah Lozoff, was created in Silver Bay, New York and received its digital World Premiere on November 23, 2020 as part of ABT Today: The Future Starts Now.  The New York stage premiere of Touché will be celebrated with two dedicated Pride Nights at the Koch Theater on Wednesday evening, October 27 and Saturday evening, October 30.  These special evenings will highlight LGBTQIA+ diversity, equity, and visibility.

American Ballet Theatre’s Fall Gala program will also include the World Premiere of Jessica Lang’s ZigZag set to songs recorded by Tony Bennett, with costumes by Wes Gordon, scenery by Derek McLane, and lighting by Nicole Pearce.  Performances of Lauren Lovette’s La Follia Variations and an excerpt of Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Indestructible Light will complete the evening.

Gabe Stone Shayer will debut in Clark Tippet’s Some Assembly Required, dancing opposite Skylar Brandt on Wednesday evening, October 27.  Some Assembly Required, choreographed by Clark Tippet, received its World Premiere by American Ballet Theatre in 1989.  The pas de deux, created for Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner, is set to music by William Bolcolm, with costumes by Gary Lisz, and lighting by Jennifer Tipton.  The ballet is staged for ABT by McKerrow and Gardner.

Thomas Forster will debut as The Friend and James Whiteside will make his debut as The Young Man From the House Opposite in Antony Tudor’s masterwork Pillar of Fire on Friday evening, October 29, dancing opposite Devon Teuscher as Hagar.  The season’s first performance of the work on Thursday evening, October 28 will feature Gillian Murphy in the lead role of Hagar.  Staged for ABT by Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner, Pillar of Fire is set to music by Arnold Schoenberg (Verklärte Nacht) with scenery and costumes by Robert Perdziola and lighting by Duane Schuler.  The ballet was given its World Premiere on April 8, 1942 at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

Tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s 2021 Fall season, starting at $30, are available beginning Wednesday, September 8 at 10:00 A.M. in person at the Koch Theater box office, by phone by calling 212- 496-0600, and online.  Performance-only tickets for ABT’s 2021 Fall Gala on Tuesday evening, October 26 begin at $35.  ABT will offer audience members the opportunity to exchange their tickets or receive refunds free of charge up until Noon on the day of the performance during the 2021 Fall season.  In addition, ABT will require the following protocol for all audience members attending its performances:

  • All audience members must be fully vaccinated. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving a second dose in a two-dose vaccine series or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine.


  • All audience members must provide in-person proof of vaccination against Covid-19 with a vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or by the World Health Organization (WHO), and a valid state or government issued photo ID.


  • Children under the age of 12, for whom there is no currently available vaccine, are not permitted to attend performances regardless of the vaccination status of their guardian.


Based on CDC and New York State guidelines at the time of performance, additional safety protocols may include proper mask usage, contact tracing survey, limitations on belongings in the David H. Koch Theater, assigned entry times, social distancing, and more. Specific health & safety protocols are determined by the David H. Koch Theater and Studios in its sole discretion and are subject to change. We will continue to consult with medical advisors and monitor CDC and New York City and State guidelines, and these policies may be updated as conditions evolve.  American Ballet Theatre will strive to communicate substantial changes to health and safety protocols in advance of performances.  Ticket holders should review ABT’s website ( periodically to identify changes impacting one’s ability to attend based on individual circumstances.  The David H. Koch Theater may, in its sole discretion, refuse to allow admission to any ticket holder who does not comply with the Theater’s policies.

The David H. Koch Theater is located at Lincoln Center, Broadway and 63rd Street in New York City.  For more information, please visit


American Ballet Theatre’s performances of Giselle are generously supported through an endowed gift from Sharon Patrick.Pillar of Fire is generously underwritten by an endowed gift by Avery and Andrew F. Barth and Carmen Barth Fox, in honor of Antony Tudor.

ZigZag is co-commissioned by Abu Dhabi Festival.

Costumes for Some Assembly Required are generously sponsored through the Ellen Everett Kimiatek Costume Preservation Trust.

American Ballet Theatre recognizes The Straus Family Foundation for its leadership support in honor of ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

Commissions and presentations of new works by women choreographers are supported by the ABT Women’s Movement. Champion support for the ABT Women’s Movement is provided by Jenna Segal. Additional leadership support is provided by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

ABT’s Choreographic Innovation and Inspiration and Inclusion programs are generously supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation. Additional major support of ABT’s Innovation and Inclusion programs is provided by Mark Casey and Carrie Gaiser Casey, the Ford Foundation, The Ted and Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund and through an endowed gift from the Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.

Special thanks to Denise Littlefield Sobel for her leadership gifts to: ABT’s Media Fund, advancing the Company’s digital endeavors; and ABT RISE, fueling the Company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

American Airlines, the Official Airline of American Ballet Theatre.

LG Electronics, Global Electronics Partner of American Ballet Theatre.

Bank of America, Lead Corporate Partner of ABT Studio Company.

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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