ABT 2016 Spring Season



American Ballet Theatre’s 2016 Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.  A World Premiere work by Alexei Ratmansky and the American Premiere of Ratmansky’s The Golden Cockerel will highlight the season, which includes six additional full-length ballets. Principal Dancers for the 2016 Metropolitan Opera House season include Stella Abrera, Roberto Bolle, Isabella Boylston, Misty Copeland, Herman Cornejo, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Maria Kochetkova, Alban Lendorf, Gillian Murphy, Veronika Part, Polina Semionova, Hee Seo, Daniil Simkin, Cory Stearns, Diana Vishneva and James Whiteside.

2016 Spring Gala Performance and World Premiere

American Ballet Theatre’s 2016 Spring Gala will be held during the second week of the Met season, Monday, May 16 at 6:30 P.M. and will feature a World Premiere work by Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky set to Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade after Plato’s Symposium.  ABT’s Spring Gala performance will include appearances by all of ABT’s Principal Dancers.  For information on ABT’s 2016 Spring Gala, please call the Special Events Office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3310.

All-Ratmansky Repertory Programs

The second week of American Ballet Theatre’s Spring season, May 17-23, will feature two repertory programs of works choreographed by Ratmansky.   The first program, Ratmansky’s 2013 Shostokovich Trilogy, features the choreographer’s Symphony #9, Chamber Symphony and Piano Concerto #1.  Shostakovich Trilogy will be given four performances, May 17, 20, 21 evening and 23.  Another triple bill of Ratmansky works, featuring the Ratmansky/Bernstein premiere, Seven Sonatas (2009) and Firebird (2012), will have four performances, May 18 matinee and evening, May 19 and the matinee of May 21.

American Premiere

Alexei Ratmansky’s The Golden Cockerel will be given its American Premiere by American Ballet Theatre on Monday evening, June 6, 2016 with Veronika Part  (Queen of Shemakah) and Skylar Brandt (the Golden Cockerel) leading the first cast.  Set to music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov with sets and costumes by Richard Hudson, Ratmansky’s The Golden Cockerel is inspired by Michel Fokine’s original production.  Sorella Englund and Anne Holm-Jensen Peyk will stage the ballet for ABT.

Based on Alexander Pushkin’s folktale, The Golden Cockerel was first presented on May 21, 1914 at the Théâtre Nationale de l’Opera, Paris, with choreography by Michel Fokine and scenery and costumes by Natalia Goncharova.  Ratmansky’s choreography for The Golden Cockerel received its World Premiere by the Royal Danish Ballet on September 29, 2012 at the Copenhagen Opera House, Denmark. The Golden Cockerel will be given eight performances through June 11.


Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée returns to the repertory on Tuesday evening, May 24 for eight performances through Monday, May 30.  Choreographed by Frederick Ashton and set to music by Ferdinand Hérold, La Fille mal gardée features designs by Osbert Lancaster, a scenario by Jean Dauberval and lighting by Brad Fields. Isabella Boylston and Alban Lendorf will dance the leading roles of Lise and Colas in the ballet’s first performance of the season on May 24.  La Fille mal gardée received its World Premiere by The Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London on January 28, 1960, danced by Nadia Nerina (Lise), David Blair (Colas), Alexander Grant (Alain) and Stanley Holden (Widow Simone).

La Fille mal gardée received its United States Premiere by The Royal Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on September 14, 1960, danced by the same cast.  The ballet received its American Ballet Theatre Company Premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on May 31, 2002, danced by Ashley Tuttle (Lise) and Ethan Stiefel (Colas).   Last performed by ABT in 2003, the ballet will be staged for the Company by Malin Thoors.

Full-Length Ballets

American Ballet Theatre will present five additional full-length ballets during its Spring season.

Gillian Murphy, Marcelo Gomes and James Whiteside will dance the leading roles in the season’s first performance of Frederick Ashton’s Sylvia on Monday evening, May 9.  A ballet in three acts, Sylvia is set to music by Léo Delibes and features costumes and scenery after original designs by Robin and Christopher Ironside.  Additional designs for Sylvia are by Peter Farmer and lighting is by Mark Jonathan.  The World Premiere of the original production of Sylvia was given by The Royal Ballet on September 3, 1952 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, danced by Margot Fonteyn (Sylvia), Michael Somes (Aminta), John Hart (Orion) and Alexander Grant (Eros).  The World Premiere of this revival of Sylvia by was given by The Royal Ballet on November 4, 2004 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, danced by Darcey Bussell (Sylvia), Jonathan Cope (Aminta), Thiago Soares (Orion) and Martin Harvey (Eros).  Sylvia received its American Ballet Theatre Company Premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on June 3, 2005, danced by Gillian Murphy (Sylvia), Maxim Beloserkovsky (Aminta), Marcelo Gomes (Orion) and Herman Cornejo (Eros).  Sylvia was last performed by ABT in 2013.

The season’s first performance of Le Corsaire on Tuesday, May 31 features Maria Kochetkova, Herman Cornejo, Sarah Lane, Daniil Simkin and Jeffrey Cirio in the leading roles.  Based on the Lord Byron poem “The Corsair” (1814), the ballet features choreography by Konstantin Sergeyev after Marius Petipa, and staging by Anna-Marie Holmes after Petipa and Sergeyev, with music by Adolphe Adam, Cesare Pugni, Léo Delibes, Riccardo Drigo and Prince Oldenbourg.  Scenery and costumes are by Irina Konstantinovna Tibilova, with additional costume designs by Robert Perdziola and lighting by Mary Jo Dondlinger.  Le Corsaire received its Company Premiere by American Ballet Theatre on June 19, 1998 with Nina Ananiashvili (Medora), Ashley Tutttle (Gulnare), Giuseppe Picone (Conrad), Angel Corella (Birbanto), Jose Manuel Carréno (Ali, the slave) and Vladimir Malakhov (Lankendem).

Eight performances of Swan Lake, choreographed by Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa, will be given beginning Monday, June 13 with Polina Semionova and Marcelo Gomes leading the opening night cast.  Swan Lake is set to the score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky and features scenery and costumes by Zack Brown and lighting by Duane Schuler.  This production of Swan Lake premiered on March 24, 2000 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. with Julie Kent (Odette-Odile), Angel Corella (Prince Siegfried) and Marcelo Gomes (von Rothbart).

Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet will be given eight performances beginning Monday evening, June 20 with Hee Seo and Cory Stearns in the title roles.  Set to the score by Sergei Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet features scenery and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis and lighting by Thomas Skelton.  On Thursday evening, June 23, Guest Artist and former ABT Principal Dancer Alessandra Ferri will return to the role of Juliet for the first time since her retirement from the Company in 2007.   Ferri will dance opposite Herman Cornejo as Romeo.  Romeo and Juliet received its World Premiere by The Royal Ballet in London on February 9, 1965 and was given its ABT Company Premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House on April 22, 1985 with Leslie Browne and Robert La Fosse in the leading roles.

Last season’s World Premiere production of Alexei Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty returns to the Metropolitan Opera House for eight performances beginning Monday evening, June 27. Set to the classic score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, The Sleeping Beauty has choreography by Marius Petipa and staging and additional choreography by Alexei Ratmansky, with assistance by Tatiana Ratmansky.  The production features scenery and costumes by Tony Award®-winning designer Richard Hudson.  Hudson’s designs are based on the historic work of Léon Bakst, who created a seminal version of The Sleeping Beauty for Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1921. The Sleeping Beauty received its World Premiere on March 3, 2015 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, danced by Diana Vishneva (Princess Aurora) and Marcelo Gomes (Prince Désiré).


ABTKids, American Ballet Theatre’s annual one-hour introduction to ballet, is scheduled for Saturday morning, June 11 at 11:30 A.M.  All tickets for ABTKids are $25.

Subscriptions for American Ballet Theatre’s 2016 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House, on sale beginning Monday, October 26, are available by phone at 212-362-6000, or online at ABT’s website www.abt.org.

Friday, October 23, 2015

ABT 2016 Spring Season | Danza Ballet
Le Corsaire Natalia Osipova, center, with members of American Ballet Theater at the Metropolitan Opera House on Tuesday. Credit Andrea Mohin/The New York Times.

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