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Alexandra

ABT gets big grant for new works

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This is a press release from ABT I got a few days ago and hadn't had the time to put up. It's often easier to get a grant for a new studio than a new ballet, so kudos to ABT for landing this one:

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE ANNOUNCES MAJOR GRANT

FROM THE ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION

THREE-YEAR GRANT TO FUND THE CREATION OF NEW WORKS

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has appropriated $1.2 million to American Ballet Theatre to support the creation and presentation of new work, it was announced today by ABT Executive Director Wallace Chappell.

The Mellon Foundation award, intended for use over three years, will aid in the commissioning of new works and provide support and exposure for both prominent and emerging choreographers. Earlier this year, ABT also received one of 46 grants given by The Foundation as part of a $50 million initiative to assist New York arts and cultural organizations in the aftermath of the events of September 11.

Of the award, Wallace Chappell said, "The support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has been invaluable to ABT's efforts to exand its repertory. The Foundation's past commissioning grants have provided valuable exposure for new choreography and we look forward to building on this tremendous success. This generous grant will also facilitate

the planned expansion of our annual fall season at City Center from two to four weeks in 2003."

The Mellon Foundation's previous grant to American Ballet Theatre was awarded in 1998. Funding from that award enabled the Company to commission new works by choreographers Nacho Duato, Lar Lubovitch and Christian Holder during the 1998, 1999 and 2000 City Center seasons.

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Just for the record, what ballets has ABT commissioned recently as opposed to crossover work?

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Hmmm. Define "recently." I can't remember one in the past 20 years. Is there anything later than Tudor's "Tiller in the Fields?" (was that the name?) which isn't really a commission, since he was on staff. Wait -- there's more. MacMillan's "Requiem" and "Wild Boy."

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Wasn't MacMillan's "Requiem" first made for the Stuttgart Ballet?

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He did create a Requiem for Stuttgart, but the one for ABT was completely different -- different music, different choreography and theme.

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What about the egregious Pied Piper? Where does that fall?

I'm sorry, whenever I think about "new works" in the same sentence as "ABT" that is what comes to mind......

I am hoping that the money will be spent on something a little less "trickster" than rats, exploding plastic flowers, and swamp monsters....back to the *old* ABT, which I quite loved......

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It was choreographed by David Parsons, which to my mind, means it's crossover, not ballet.

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Fresh off the press (actually inside info.): ABT is going to participate in the John Adams festival that Lincoln Center is putting on next spring. NYCB is also going to participate. ABT will have a new work choreographed (not sure by whom) to Adams' "Harmonium" - a choral work. They will also be doing a ?newly choreographed (of this I'm not sure) "Carmina Burana." Performances are scheduled for mid-May, 2003.

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