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ABT News

November 16, 2006


Richardson Returns to ABT to Reprise Title Role in Othello

Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie has announced the addition of Desmond Richardson as Principal Guest Artist and Rasta Thomas as Guest Artist to American Ballet Theatre’s 2007 roster.

Richardson and Thomas are scheduled to perform the title role in three performances of Lar Lubovitch’s Othello. Richardson, who created the title role with ABT in 1997, will reprise his performance on Thursday evening, May 24 at the Metropolitan Opera House, dancing opposite Alessandra Ferri as Desdemona. Thomas will make his debut with the Company at the January 13 matinee at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. He will repeat the role, opposite Xiomara Reyes as Desdemona, on Wednesday evening, May 23 at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Principal Guest Artist Desmond Richardson was born in Sumter, South Carolina and grew up in Queens, New York. He studied at the High School of Performing Arts, the International Sommer Academie des Tanz in Koln, Germany, and at the Alvin Ailey Dance Center. In 1987, he joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater where he danced for eight years. From 1994-1996, he appeared as a soloist with Frankfurt Ballet and has also appeared as a guest artist with Royal Swedish Ballet. Richardson is co-artistic director, with Dwight Rhoden, of COMPLEXIONS Contemporary Ballet.

In 1998, Richardson joined the cast of Fosse for which he received a 1999 Tony Award nomination. He also appeared on Broadway in The Look of Love: The Songs of Burt Bacharach and Twyla Tharp’s Movin’ Out. He is featured in Patrick Swayze’s film One Last Dance and the film version of Chicago, as well as the soon-to-be-released film Across the Universe, directed by Julie Taymor.

Richardson joined American Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer in January 1997. With ABT, he created the title role in Lar Lubovitch’s Othello, a leading role in Nacho Duato’s Remanso, and performed the roles of Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet and Carabosse in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s The Sleeping Beauty.

Guest Artist Rasta Thomas was born in San Francisco and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He studied dance at the Kirov Academy in Washington, DC and received the Junior Gold Medal at the 1996 Varna International Ballet Competition. In 1998, he captured the Senior Gold Medal at the 1998 Jackson International Ballet Competition.

In 1995, Thomas joined Le Jeune Ballet de France, and, in 1997, became a Principal Artist with the Hartford Ballet. He has appeared as a guest artist with Kirov Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Victor Ullate Ballet, Inoue Ballet of Japan, the Universal Ballet of Korea and the National Ballet of Cuba. His film and stage credits include One Last Dance and Twyla Tharp’s Movin’ Out. Thomas has also performed in the works of choreographers Lar Lubovitch and Richard Move.

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