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American Ballet Theatre

American Ballet Theatre (ABT), one of the foremost international dance companies of the 20th and 21st cents. It was founded in 1937 as the Mordkin Ballet and reorganized as the Ballet Theatre in 1940 under the direction (1940–80) of Lucia Chase and Oliver Smith. It became the American Ballet Theatre in 1956. Its repertoire has included newly staged classical ballets and innovative modern dance works, many concerned with specifically American themes. Most of the company's seasons have been presented in New York City, but it has also toured throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. In 1960 ABT became the first U.S. ballet company to dance in the Soviet Union.

George Balanchine, Adolph Bolm, Michel Fokine, Léonide Massine, and Bronislava Nijinska staged works for the company, as did the British choreographer Antony Tudor, who was introduced to the American public with such works as Pillar of Fire (1942) and Romeo and Juliet (1943). Agnes de Mille staged nearly all of her dance works for the company, including Fall River Legend (1948) and The Harvest According (1952). Jerome Robbins's Fancy Free (1944) and Michael Kidd's On Stage (1945) were also created for the company, as were Alvin Ailey's The River (1970) and Twyla Tharp's Push Comes to Shove (1976). Dancers who gained fame or reached their peak with the American Ballet Theatre include Alicia Alonso, Alicia Markova, Erik Bruhn, Nora Kaye, and Natalia Makarova. Mikhail Baryshnikov was artistic director of the company from 1980 to 1990 and was followed in that position by Jane Hermann and Oliver Smith (1990–92) and Kevin McKenzie (1992–).

See A. Olshan, ed, American Ballet Theatre: The First Fifty Years (1989), E. Kay, The American Ballet Theatre: A 25-Year Retrospective (1999); study by C. Payne (1978).

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"American Ballet Theatre." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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American Ballet Theatre

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE, famous for its use of various ballet techniques, including Imperial Russian, American folk, and hi-tech contemporary, was founded in 1937 as the Mordkin Ballet, and reorganized as the Ballet Theatre in 1940 under the direction of Lucia Chase. Headed by Chase until her replacement by Mikhail Baryshnikov in 1980, the company became the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in 1956. In 1960 the ABT was the first American ballet company to dance in the Soviet Union. Unlike the New York City Ballet Company, the ABT brought in foreign stars as compliments to its American corps. It also featured the work of such choreographers as Agnes de Mille, Jerome Robbins, and Twyla Tharp.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Jacobs, Laura. "The ABT at Fifty." The New Leader 73, no. 4 (1990): 2123.

Kaye, Elizabeth. American Ballet Theatre: A 25-Year Retrospective. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

Jennifer Harrison

See also Ballet ; Dance ; New York City Ballet .

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"American Ballet Theatre." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"American Ballet Theatre." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/american-ballet-theatre

"American Ballet Theatre." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/american-ballet-theatre