ABT: AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE

Xiomara Reyes in Cinderella.
Photo: Gene Schiavone.

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Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc.
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Ballet Descriptions
Here are descriptions for the ballets being presented by ABT during the 2015 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House.

   

Hee Seo
Photo: Fabrizio Ferri
The Sleeping Beauty
New York Premiere

Choreography by Alexei Ratmansky
Music by Peter Illyitch Tchaikovsky

The beloved story of the beautiful Princess Aurora, the evil sorceress Carabosse, and the awakening kiss of a handsome prince is certain to cast a spell on your heart and imagination in Alexei Ratmansky's all-new production, inspired by Leon Bakst's historic designs for Diaghilev's Ballet Russes.

 

Hee Seo and Cory Stearns
Photo: Gene Schiavone

Giselle

Choreography after Jean Coralli,
Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa
Music by Adolphe Adam

The epitome of Romantic ballet, this heart-rending tale of unrequited love, remorse and forgiveness perfectly fuses music, movement and drama. The role of Giselle requires an exquisite stylist with daring dramatic and technical skills to create a compelling portrait of the innocent, yet ultimately noble, village maiden. In this universally acclaimed production, ABT's unrivalled roster of international ballet stars brings Giselle's mystery and ethereal beauty vividly to life.

   

Gillian Murphy and David Hallberg
Photo: Gene Schiavone

Swan Lake

Choreography by Kevin McKenzie
after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov

Music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky

Of all the great classics, Swan Lake remains the quintessential ballet, the one that defines the standards of the Company, tests its dancers and ennobles the spirit of the audience. This romantic fable of ill-fated passion, dreamlike transformation and ultimate forgiveness is set to Tchaikovsky's glorious score. With breathtaking choreography and visually magnificent sets evoking a Renaissance court, the fabled lake of the swans rises into view, inspiring awe for generations to come.

   

Hee Seo and Alexandre Hammoudi
Photo: Rosalie O’Connor
Romeo and Juliet

Choreography by Kenneth MacMillan
Music by Sergei Prokofiev

Kenneth MacMillan's masterful interpretation of Shakespeare's enduring romantic tragedy has become one of ABT's signature productions. Against a sumptuous setting in Renaissance Italy, MacMillan weaves a dancer tapestry rich in character nuance and sensuality, and Sergei Prokofiev's instantly recognizable music underscores the lyric beauty and passion of this beloved ballet's star-crossed lovers.

   

Gillian Murphy and David Hallberg
Photo: Gene Schiavone

Othello

Choreography by Lar Lubovitch
Music by Elliot Goldenthal

Shakespeare's gripping tale of jealousy and betrayal provides the inspiration for this immensely theatrical spectacle. Featuring Lar Lubovitch's whirlpool of passionate choreography and Academy Award-winning composer Elliot Goldenthal's dramatic score, this psychological thriller reaches its inevitable, heartbreaking climax as the brooding commander Othello succumbs to the sinister Iago's machinations and tragedy befalls the palace.ot

 


Veronika Part and Marcelo Gomes
Photo: Gene Schiavone

La Bayadère

Choreography by Natalia Makarova
after Marius Petipa

Music by Ludwig Minkus

Amid the sweeping vistas and grand temples of mystical India, this great Russian classic is a glorious epic of eternal love and godly revenge. This Spring, ABT offers tour de force performances by ABT Principal Dancers as the tale's doomed temple dancer Nikiya, the warrior who betrays her, Solor, and her archrival, Gamzatti. This ballet also features the famed vision of the "Kingdom of the Shades," showcasing the corps de ballet in gossamer white tutus, who fill the stage in perfect unison sublime as angels arriving from heaven.


Julie Kent and Marcelo Gomes
Photo: Gene Schiavone

Cinderella

Choreography by Frederick Ashton
Music by Sergei Prokofiev

Ashton's Cinderella is widely considered one of the greatest ballets of this timeless rags-to-riches fairy tale. Performed to Prokofiev's hauntingly soaring score, this romance is a stage fantasy to enrapture children of all ages as well as a cornucopia of sly wit and inventive choreography to sate the most devoted of ballet fans. Colorful characters abound, including the gloriously grotesque stepsisters portrayed, as is the tradition, by male dancers who introduce a wonderful note of pantomime comedy.






CLASSIC ABT

Celebrate ABT's 75 years of glorious dance-theater with repertory programs from among these classic one-act ballets:


Sarah Lane and Daniil Simkin
Photo: Gene Schiavone

Theme and Variations

Choreography by George Balanchine
Music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky


Balanchine’s love for Tchaikovsky and Petipa is reflected in his Theme and Variations, capturing the 19th-century glamour and majesty of the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg. Set in a grand ballroom, this ABT commission dazzles the eye with a labyrinth of diamond-sharp choreography.


Julie Kent and Cory Stearns
Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

Jardin aux Lilas
(Lilac Garden)


Choreography by Antony Tudor
Music by Ernest Chausson

 

Amid a farewell party in an Edwardian garden, this tale brims with tension as young lovers are torn
apart by a bride's marriage of convenience to a monied, older gentleman. Performed to Chausson's
Poème for Violin and Orchestra, Tudor's choreography reveals vagaries of the human heart through
furtive meetings, whispered secrets and gestures of unfulfilled yearning.


Marian Butler and Craig Salstein
Photo: Gene Schiavone

Rodeo

Choreography by Agnes de Mille
Music by Aaron Copland

In the pioneer West, this humorous love story about a tomboyish cowgirl is set to Copland's toe-tappin' score, which includes the famed "Hoedown."


Gillian Murphy and Marcelo Gomes
Photo: Marty Sohl

Pillar of Fire

Choreography by Antony Tudor
Music by Arnold Schoenberg

 

Antony Tudor - a playwright for dance - dispensed with courtly characters and fairy tale creatures
to bring this groundbreaking experiment to life. Receiving thirty curtain calls at its premiere, this tale
of Hagar, a woman chrouded in Victorian social constraints yet desperately longing for love, is a
perfect showcase for the ABT dancers' dramatic virtuosity. Schoenberg's landmark score,
Verklãrte Nacht, provides the ideal complement with symphonic sweeps of passion, searing conflict
and extraordinary tenderness.


Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg and Craig Salstein.
Photo: Fabrizio Ferri

Fancy Free

Choreography by Jerome Robbins
Music by Leonard Bernstein

Rarely has a choreographer burst upon the scene with such a clear voice as Jerome Robbins did in 1944, when ABT premiered his evergreen ode to three sailors on the town. Its energy, humor and high hopes perfectly capture the American spirit.


Gillian Murphy and Marcelo Gomes
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor

Les Sylphides

Choreography by Michel Fokine
Music by Frederic Chopin


Amid a moon-drenched forest glade, a romantic reverie springs from the sublime music of Chopin to evoke an image of classical beauty in its most ethereal form. If Fokine had never choreographed another step, this ballet would have established him as a genius of dance.