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American Ballet Theatre

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Previous names
Ballet Theatre


Date founded

Year founded

Artistic Director
American Ballet Theatre httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsee

American Ballet Theatre

Principal venue
Metropolitan Opera HouseNew York City

Lucia Chase, Richard Pleasant


American ballet theatre studio company

American Ballet Theatre (ABT) is a classical ballet company based in New York City. It has an annual eight-week season at the Metropolitan Opera House (Lincoln Center) in the spring and a shorter season at the David H. Koch Theater in the fall; the company tours around the world the rest of the year. ABT was founded in 1939 by Lucia Chase and Richard Pleasant and is recognized as one of the world's leading classical ballet companies. ABT is also the parent company of the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, and was recognized as "America's National Ballet Company" in 2006 by the United States Congress.


American ballet theatre jko ballet school


In 1939, Pleasant and Chase developed big ideas to create "a large scale company with an eclectic repertory". They and a small group from Mordorkin Ballet formed Ballet Theatre and held their first performance on 11 January 1940. Chase began developing the company's repertoire of well-known full-length ballets, as well as original works, amidst financial issues, until in 1945 Oliver Smith joined Ballet Theatre and became co-director with Chase. In 1957 the company changed its name to "American Ballet Theatre" and continued to focus on ballet classics with continued financial issues until, during the 1960s and 1970s, financial conditions with the company were favorable due to private funding. During this period, American Ballet Theatre shifted its focus to recruiting ballet stars.

In 1977, the company began its spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House, its new official venue, then in 1980 Mikhail Baryshnikov became Artistic Director for American Ballet Theatre. Baryshnikov staged, restaged, and refurbished numerous classical ballets and, according to the company, strengthened their classical tradition. Baryshnikov was replaced by Jane Hermann and Oliver Smith in 1989, and the pair remained as Artistic Directors until in 1992 Kevin McKenzie was appointed. McKenzie satisfied the demands of the traditional ballet audience by prioritizing full-length narrative ballets as well as succeeding in keeping the company afloat during financially unstable times. He established an official associate school in 2004, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and appointed Alexei Ratmansky as "Artist in Residence" in January 2009 after a long period of no in-house choreographer.

Artistic directors

  • Lucia Chase and Oliver Smith (1940–1980)
  • Mikhail Baryshnikov (1980–1989)
  • Jane Hermann and Oliver Smith (1989–1992)
  • Kevin McKenzie (1992–present)
  • Executive Directors

  • Rachel S. Moore (until 2016)
  • Kara Medoff Barnett (2016-present)
  • Resident choreographers

  • Antony Tudor (1940–1950)
  • Alexei Ratmansky (2009–present)
  • Dancers

    American Ballet Theatre has four levels within the company. They are (in ascending order): Apprentice, Corps de Ballet, Soloist and Principal.

    Corps de ballet

    The American Ballet Theatre's current Corps de Ballet includes:


    The American Ballet Theatre's current apprentices includes:


    American Ballet Theatre Wikipedia