Alexandre Hammoudi in Don Quixote.
Photo: Renata Pavam.

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Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc.
All rights reserved.

Ballet Descriptions
Here are descriptions for the ballets being presented by ABT during the 2014 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House.


Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes
Photo: MIRA

Choreography by Kenneth MacMillan
Music by Jules Massenet

From the ornate salons of Paris to the mysterious bayous of Louisiana, MacMillan's dramatic masterwork is an affecting tale of romance, intrigue and treachery. Set to Massenet's lush score and inspired by the classic novel Manon Lescaut, this engrossing ballet soars to searing theatrical heights as the beautiful courtesan Manon chooses between the temptations of wealth and true love.


Hee Seo and Cory Stearns
Photo: Gene Schiavone


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.


Xiomara Reyes and Ivan Vasiliev
Photo: Rosalie O’Connor

Staged by Frederic Franklin
Music by Léo Delibes

The perfect introduction to ballet, Coppélia brings alive the comic wit of E.T.A. Hoffmann's beloved tale with storybook sets and Delibes' tuneful score. The entire family will delight as the magical world of Dr. Coppelius' workshop reveals his mechanical toys and imaginative inventions. His remarkably lifelike doll, Coppélia, even attracts the friendly attention of Swanilda and, to Swanilda's dismay, her fiancé Franz's more amorous intentions. All ends well, though, as mistaken identities are revealed, and our hero Franz returns to his true love in this joyous ballet.


Gillian Murphy
Photo: Gene Schiavone

Don Quixote

Choreography after Marius Petipa
and Alexander Gorsky
Music by Ludwig Minkus

Based on Miguel de Cervantes' sweeping tale of romance and chivalry, the knight-errant of la Mancha, Don Quixote, and his devoted squire, Sancho Panza, are positively heroic when it comes to aiding the spirited maiden Kitri and her charming amour. From the bravura dancing of the fiery toreador Espada to the colorful caravan of gypsies, the stage explodes with one show-stopping performance after another in this feast of choreographic fireworks.


Alina Cojocaru
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor

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.

Photo: Fabrizio Ferri

Company Premiere

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.

This triple bill of breathtaking athleticism and lyrical beauty offers the opportunity to experience ballet classicism at its best.

Sarah Lane and Herman Cornejo
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor

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.

Photo by MIRA

Gaîté Parisienne
Major Revival

Choreography by Leonide Massine
Music by Jaques Offenbach


Massine's frothy Gaîté Parisienne is an audience favorite with it's delightful can-can girls in
eye-popping Christian Lacroix costumes!

David Hallberg
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor

Duo Concertant

Choreography by George Balanchine
Music by Igor Stravinsky

Standing at the piano with the musicians, the dancers listen to the first movement. During the next three movements, they dance, mirroring the music and each other, and pause several times to rejoin the musicians and to listen. In the final movement, the stage is darkened and the dancers perform within individual circles of light.

ABT celebrates the Bard's 450th birthday with a magical double bill inspired by Shakespeare's ode to the illusory nature of love, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and his late great masterpiece, The Tempest, a meditation on romance, revenge and redemption.

Daniil Simkin
Photo: Gene Schiavone

The Dream

Choreography by Frederick Ashton
Music by Felix Mendelssohn


Frederick Ashton's beguiling retelling of Shakespeare's comedy of errors, A Midsummer Night's
, is set in the magical woods of Victorian England to a spellbinding score by Felix Mendelssohn.

Marcelo Gomes and Daniil Simkin
Photo: Fabrizio Ferri

The Tempest

Choreography by Alexei Ratmansky
Music by Jean Sibelius

As a tempest rages inside Prospero, the wrongfully banished Duke of Milan, he conjures a violent storm to bring his foes to the enchanted island he has shared with his daughter and the spirit Ariel for the past twelve years. Imbued with magic and the supernatural, Shakespeare's late great masterpiece is a meditation on romance, revenge and redemption.