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ABT Fall Season 2018

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Here's the official release:

 

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE ANNOUNCES THE ABT WOMEN’S MOVEMENT MULTI-YEAR INITIATIVE TO SUPPORT THE CREATION OF NEW WORK BY FEMALE CHOREOGRAPHERS ABT WOMEN’S MOVEMENT GALA TO OPEN FALL 2018 SEASON AT THE DAVID H. KOCH THEATRE ON OCTOBER 17 American Ballet Theatre announced the formation of the ABT Women’s Movement, a multi-year initiative to support the creation, exploration and staging of new works by female choreographers for ABT and the ABT Studio Company. The initiative was announced today by ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. The ABT Women’s Movement will support at least three female choreographers each season to create new works for American Ballet Theatre. In most years, one work will be designated for ABT’s main company, one for the ABT Studio Company and one will be a work-in-process workshop for ABT or Studio Company dancers. Each choreographer will work with her respective group of dancers for a two-to-five week period, receiving guidance and feedback from ABT’s artistic staff. The opening night Gala performance of American Ballet Theatre’s 2018 Fall season will celebrate the ABT Women’s Movement with an evening devoted to works by female choreographers. The Gala program on October 17 will include a new work by tap dancer and choreographer Michelle Dorrance, Le Jeune by New York City Ballet principal dancer Lauren Lovette, created in 2017 and performed by the ABT Studio Company, and In the Upper Room by Twyla Tharp. The 2018 Fall season will also feature a new work by choreographer Jessica Lang. The ABT Studio Company will premiere a new work by choreographer Claudia Schreier for its 2018-2019 season performances, and the Studio Company’s annual residency with Duke University, beginning January 2019, will include a new work by New York-based choreographer Stefanie Batten Bland.

The ABT Women’s Movement took shape in 2016 as the Women Choreographers Initiative, having supported the ABT World Premiere of The Gift by Jessica Lang and the return of Lang’s Her Notes during the Company’s 2017 Fall season. The Initiative also funded new works for the ABT Studio Company by Lovette and former San Francisco Ballet soloist Dana Genshaft. In addition, choreographer Pam Tanowitz was in residency with ABT last November on a work-in-process. The workshop explored and developed movement phrases and concepts and culminated in an informal studio showing. “The ABT Women’s Movement takes inspiration from the groundbreaking female choreographers who have left a lasting impact on ABT’s legacy, including Agnes de Mille and Twyla Tharp,” said McKenzie. “This Fall, we are pleased to welcome Michelle Dorrance, who will create her first work for ABT, and Jessica Lang, in her third work for the Company.” “The artistic staff at American Ballet Theatre has embraced and encouraged my work for nearly 20 years,” said Lang. “I am proud to be a part of this initiative. If we can ignite all imaginations to find creative potential, we can move from possible to probable that the future will have equality and be rich with inventive ideas and engaging art.” The ABT Women’s Movement is generously supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Elizabeth Benedict Yntema.

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Can't wait to see In the Upper Room!

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Great news! Some of the best new work that I’ve seen recently is by female choreographers - Bond, Reisen, Karen Schwarz, to name a few.

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Surprised Gemma Bond's name wasn't mentioned. I've enjoyed her work and think she's still on the corps roster. (Although according to her IG feed she's pregnant, probably had the baby by now, and might be taking time off.)

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I wish they would bring back Demille's Fall River Legend. I'd love to see some of the newer principals get a stab at that (no pun intended). 

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58 minutes ago, Fleurfairy said:

I wish they would bring back Demille's Fall River Legend. I'd love to see some of the newer principals get a stab at that (no pun intended). 

Agree. Or any de Mille really.

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2 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

Agree. Or any de Mille really.

I'm surprised that ABT has never revived the last ballet she did for them 'The Informer' - I would have thought that might have been a good candidate for a winter season outing ... and I realise this has not formally been announced in its entirety.  Wondered too - with the current compilation of Robbins' musical works for NYCB - if there might not be coinage for ABT in doing something similar for DeMille and her bounteous Broadway choreographic repasts.  (Just a suggestion.)  

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Perhaps they aren't doing any de Mille because  of this

"Hi, the page you are looking for does not exist. Please browse the links in the menu above or visit our homepage."

(message when you click on the link for her page on the ABT website)

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Personally, I feel that McKenzie's focus on women choreographers is a gimmick.  I'm more interested in the quality of the choreography than the gender of the person who created it.   

 

Michelle Dorrance is a brilliant tap dancer.  Why is she creating a work for a major ballet company, to be shown in a 3,000 seat auditorium.  I could understand if it was a work for the studio company to be shown at their annual presentation,.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, abatt said:

Personally, I feel that McKenzie's focus on women choreographers is a gimmick.  I'm more interested in the quality of the choreography than the gender of the person who created it.  

Don't McKenzie's own comments in the NYT article suggest that he may agree with you, at least in theory?

Quote

“I realized at the beginning of last year that my future plans for the next three years included a majority of women,” Kevin McKenzie, the company’s artistic director, said in an interview. “I thought, we’re doing this anyway — why don’t we formalize it?”

If the focus is a "gimmick," it's apparently only one that was devised partly in retrospect, after some plans for the programming had already been developed.

Edited by nanushka

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58 minutes ago, abatt said:

Personally, I feel that McKenzie's focus on women choreographers is a gimmick.  I'm more interested in the quality of the choreography than the gender of the person who created it.   

 

Michelle Dorrance is a brilliant tap dancer.  Why is she creating a work for a major ballet company, to be shown in a 3,000 seat auditorium.  I could understand if it was a work for the studio company to be shown at their annual presentation,.

Agreed, abatt.

This article is interesting and telling, in my opinion.  Even more telling are the comments.  It is not so much that there is a lack of women choreographers, but a lack of women choreographers being used by major companies.  

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/26/arts/dance/ballet-luminaries-weigh-in-on-a-conspicuous-absence.html#commentsContainer

This quote tells me a lot about McKenzie:  “It’s important to level the playing field, if you will, but what’s paramount above and beyond that is, Where is the next voice?” Mr. McKenzie said. “I’m looking for somebody who can ignite the excitement of where we are in time. I just care about the work. And it turns out that the work that is catching my eye seems to be a higher percentage of women.”  Basically, what caught his eye was a visit to the Vail Festival last year, i.e., basically choosing the same women choreographers who choreographed for the NOW Festival.

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, its the mom said:

  Basically, what caught his eye was a visit to the Vail Festival last year, i.e., basically choosing the same women choreographers who choreographed for the NOW Festival.

Yes, McKenzie doesn't have many original ideas.  He has glommed on to Woetzel's ideas regarding the Vail Festival.  The big difference is that the Vail Festival is a great place to try new experiments.  A major opera house seating thousands - not so much.

When NYCB was attempting to hire Ratmansky as the resident choreographer at NYCB, McKenzie glommed on to the concept and offered RAtmansky a resident choreographer position at ABT. 

Edited by abatt

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