American Ballet Theatre Commemorates Three-Quarters of a Century

September 30, 2014

This story originally appeared in the October/November 2014 issue of
Pointe.

American Ballet Theatre turns 75 this fall. The company’s season at the David H. Koch Theater will feature a world premiere by choreographer Liam Scarlett set to music by Sergei Rachmaninoff, and a new production of Raymonda Divertissements staged by artistic director Kevin McKenzie and ballet mistress Irina Kolpakova. The company will also perform legacy works, like Twyla Tharp’s Bach Partita, Alexei Ratmansky’s Seven Sonatas and Léonide Massine?’s Gaîté Parisienne. “Our 75th is a milestone with which to look back at who we were and an opportunity to look forward to who we will be,” says McKenzie.

Liam ScarlettAndrej Uspenski, Courtesy ABT

This marks Scarlett’s first collaboration with ABT. The 27-year-old British wunderkind who cut his teeth at The Royal Ballet, first as a dancer and now as artist in residence, has previously choreographed for Miami City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet. Scarlett’s new work will premiere at ABT’s opening night gala on October 22, alongside Christopher Wheeldon’s Thirteen Diversions and a performance by the students of ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.

The company will also commemorate its long history with performances of works that have been in the ABT repertoire since the 1940s, such as Antony Tudor’s Jardin aux Lilas and Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free.