American Ballet Theatre

American Ballet Theatre just announced an intriguing transatlantic dancer swap. Royal Ballet principal Steven McRae will come to New York to perform in ABT's Le Corsaire this June and Royal Danish Ballet principal Alban Lendorf will dance with the company in Sleeping Beauty this July. In exchange, ABT will lend principal Cory Stearns to The Royal Ballet in December and soloist Isabella Boylston to the Royal Danish Ballet for their Nutcracker.

Getting to attend the annual Dance Magazine Awards is one of my favorite perks of this job. The caliber of artists you get to rub shoulders with each year is kind of amazing, if a bit overwhelming. The first time I went, as a Dance Magazine intern, I remember seeing Alessandra Ferri float up the aisle to accept her award with the exact same effortless fluidity she moves with onstage.

Last night I got to see American Ballet Theatre in Alexei Ratmansky's Nutcracker. I absolutely love this production. The choreography is thrilling, with psychological twists and an epic grand pas de deux. I'll admit it: I even cried at the end.

 

Picture this: You have a personal invite to David Hallberg's rehearsals and performances with American Ballet Theatre. He regularly gives you individual training and coaching advice. He takes a special interest in your career.

 

Alexei Ratmansky and American Ballet Theatre are a match made in ballet heaven. The artist in residence has a 10-year contract with ABT, and has choreographed abstract and narrative ballets for the company such as The Bright Stream, The Nutcracker and Firebird. At the Guggenheim’s Works & Process on Sunday, ballet mistress Nancy Raffa, and principal David Hallberg discussed what it's like to work with Ratmansky. Apparently, Ratmansky comes to the studio very prepared, with his 2x4 inch black book containing choreography to each count of the score.

 Few dancers have been as popular with audiences as Angel Corella. When he gave his farewell performance with American Ballet Theatre last night, the vast Metropolitan Opera House, rarely full to the rafters, was sold out. Ballet lovers had come from all over to say goodbye.

 

The word “character” in ballet can be used to describe a type of dance, such as the folk dances in Swan Lake, or the act of embodying role. At the "American Ballet Theatre: A Cast of Characters" event at the Guggenheim museum, the dancers performed excerpts from a range repertoire that ABT will presenting at New York City's Metropolitan Opera House this coming season, and spoke about their artistic process with panelist John Meehan, a professor of dance at Vassar College and former ABT studio company director.

 

Alina Cojocaru has no tendons—I am convinced of it! Legs aren't supposed to float up that high quite that easily. It's kind of absurd. Just like her supernatural sense of balance. Seriously, I'm pretty sure she could drink an entire cup of coffee while hanging out on pointe in arabesque.

 

Since 1997, American Ballet Theatre's "Make a Ballet" program has offered NYC schoolchildren the opportunity to design and produce original performance pieces.