Famous dancers and performances of American Ballet Theater

The American Ballet Theater is a dance company that was established in 1940 and since then has entertained audiences around the world with beautiful dance interpretations. Throughout the years, ABT has employed very talented dancers that are professionally trained. This company boasts some of the most talented ballet dancers in the world. ABT has allowed them to share their talents with audiences from the United States, as well as other countries such as the United Kingdom, Russia and Japan. The ballet puts on numerous productions throughout the year. A few recent ballet performances include “Swan Lake,” “The Sleeping Beauty” and one of the most popular ballets of all time, “The Nutcracker.” The dancers, together with the company and passionate ballet fans, have turned the American Ballet Theater into a world renowned dance company.  

Although it is the dancers who take the stage, many other individuals are also responsible for the success of the American Ballet Theater. Since 1940, the company has had several directors that turned the company into a recognized dance company. It began in 1940 with directors Lucia Chase, also a dancer, and Oliver Smith. Smith is not only known for his dance contributions. He is also a great designer who designed for a number of Broadway plays including “West Side Story” and “My Fair Lady.” He is also an Academy Award Winner for “Guys and Dolls.” In 1980, Mikhail Baryshnikov took over. After 10 years, direction changed again with Jane Hermann and the return of Oliver Smith. Just two years later, the company was passed on to Kevin McKenzie, who has been responsible for the company’s artistic direction for the past 20 years. McKenzie is a dancer himself, as well as a choreographer. He has many years of experience in the business. In addition to directors, there are other valuable positions in the company, such as musicians, educators and marketing professionals.

To get into the American Ballet Theater, dancers must be exceptional. They are well trained and dedicate their lives to dance. There are many educational opportunities for aspiring dancers through the American Ballet Theater. School-age children have participated in workshops, like the Young People’s Ballet Workshop, and other programs in the past. This gives school children, especially in the New York area, the chance to learn more about the art of dance.  One of the major ballet schools associated with the company is the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. Here, ballet students work with professional dancers, choreographers and dance educators to prepare for a profession as a ballet dancer. They train daily and also put on productions throughout their education.

When dancers reach the professional level, the best dancers have the opportunity to work for the American Ballet Theater. Director Kevin McKenzie and past director Mikhail Baryshnikov both danced for the company. Current dancers include married couple Maxim Beloserkovsky and Irina Dvorovenko (“The Sleeping Beauty,” “Swan Lake”), award winner Angel Corella (“Cinderella,” “Romeo and Juliet”) and soon to be artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Ethan Stiefel (“Billy the Kid,” “Don Quixote”). ABT includes principal dancers, soloists, and the Corps De Ballet, which is a group of dancers that dance together and are often younger or apprentice dancers.

The dancers of the American Ballet Theater have performed in some remarkable dance pieces. Summer 2011 performance locations are in Los Angeles, New York City, and the cities of Tokyo, Hiogo and Biwako in Japan. “The Bright Stream” is currently being performed in Los Angeles. In New York City,  dancers are performing “Swan Lake” and “The Sleeping Beauty.” In the Japan locations, productions include “The Nutcracker,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Don Quixote.”

The American Ballet Theater is an amazing company that puts together beautiful dance pieces for the world to enjoy. It’s a company with a rich history and an impressive reputation for delivering some of the best ballet performances in the world. Today, along with dancers, artistic directors, choreographers and musicians, the American Ballet Theater continues to thrive.