American Ballet Theatre

A lake is a familiar setting for a ballet, though usually its shore is home to swans or Wilis. In “The Lake” section of Alvin Ailey’s The River, which he choreographed for American Ballet Theatre in 1970, the dancers represent the water itself. In this clip, former ABT principal Cynthia Gregory appears clad in a simple dress of muted gray, like the color of silt stirred up from a lake’s murky bottom. To the plucking strings and sonorous horns of Duke Ellington’s score, she commands our attention with her swirling and confident shapes.

Published October 1, 2015
Miami City Ballet’s Simone Messmer seeks constant growth. more »

Johan Renvall, a virtuosic former principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre, died last week at the age of 55. Born and trained in Sweden, Renvall danced with ABT from 1978 to 1996. He found his niche in contemporary premieres by the likes of Twyla Tharp and Agnes de Mille, in 20th century classics like Antony Tudor’s emotive Dark Elegies, and in bravura male solos like the Golden Idol variation in La Bayadère.


American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland is not the first African American woman to dance the iconic role of Odette/Odile. And some warn, rightly so, that the rich history of black ballerinas (Lauren Anderson, Debra Austin, Anne Benna Sims, Nora Kimball and Virginia Johnson, to name just a few) has gotten lost in all the publicity hype surrounding Copeland. Others complain that her PR campaign is an overly aggressive attempt to achieve principal status.

Published June 2, 2015
Julie Kent looks back on her nearly 30-year career at American Ballet Theatre. more »
Published June 1, 2015
It’s two weeks before the March world premiere of American Ballet Theatre’s The Sleeping Beauty at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, and principals Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes are hard at work. As the couple begins Princess Aurora and Prince Désiré’s Act III …more »


Today, two of American Ballet Theatre’s longtime stars, Paloma Herrera and Xiomara Reyes, retire from the company in—what is sure to be emotionally charged—back-to-back performances of Giselle. Herrera, who has danced with ABT for 24 years, will say good-bye during this afternoon’s matinee, while Reyes will give her final performance tonight. The departure of both dancers marks an end of an era, and a sign of change for ABT’s future. In two seperate interviews, both dancers offered reflections on their careers, retirements and future plans.


American Ballet Theatre, in the midst of their 75th Anniversary celebration, opened their spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House this week. But fans unable to make it to New York City need not worry—on May 15, “American Ballet Theatre: A History,” a documentary nine years in the making by Emmy-award winning filmmaker Ric Burns, premieres on PBS stations nationwide.


For an all-too-brief period of one month, both American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet will perform at the Lincoln Center. Though the repertoire of each company differs greatly, their theaters are steps away from each other, and it's wonderful to walk by and see people streaming into the respective buildings for a night at the ballet.