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The American Ballet Theater is Back on Stage at Lincoln Center with Giselle

Starting October 20, Kevin McKenzie’s production opens the season 18 months after the start of the pandemic with a live audience in the theater

American Ballet Theatre: Giselle | Feb. 11-16 (YouTube)

“It’s poignant to come back to the theater because it will point out how well we have weathered the time away from each other” said Kevin McKenzie about the return of live performances. World premiere of Zig Zag by Jessica Lang and music by Tony Bennett, center piece of the gala.

After a year and a half of pandemic, which unfortunately is still ongoing, life is trying to go back to some sort of normality. Thanks to a vigorous vaccine program, people are now gathering in safety even indoor, and show business is going back to live performances, with theater companies back on stage and the audience in the theater.

Therefore, on October 20th the American Ballet Theater, the company established in 1939 by Lucia Chase and Oliver Smith, will be back to perform live on the David H. Koch stage at Lincoln Center and it will do so with ,the 1841’s classic Giselle, libretto by Théophile Gautier, subject by Heinrich Heine, choreography by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa and staged by Kevin McKenzie, the current Artistic Director of the ABT.

American Ballet Theatre: Giselle | Feb. 11-16 (YouTube)

“We’ve all been drastically changed by the experience of the last 16 months. It’s poignant to come back to the theater because it will point out how well we have weathered the time away from each other” said Kevin McKenzie, commenting on the return to live performances. His staging of the ballet is the original production created in 1987 for the movie, Dancers by Herbert Ross, which  is about the private and professional lives of two dancers, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Alessandra Ferri, engaged in the rehearsals of “Giselle” (the movie was a flop).

On October 26th, the Fall Gala will take place. La Follia Variation by Lauren Lovett and music by Francesco Geminiani: eight dancers convey the spirit of community and sharing through a dance full of poetry, wit, nuance, and power. Indestructible Lights by Durrell Grand Moultrie and music by Duke Ellington and others: a celebration of American jazz, adaptation for the stage of the online version released last year. Touché by Christopher Rudd and music by Woodwik and Morricone: a beautiful journey in the intimacy of male love The world premiere of Zig Zag by Jessica Lang with music by Tony Bennett will be the centerpiece of the gala. This work, fourth direction for the ABT and second dedicated to the illustrious singer, showcases his songs and visual art (Tony Bennett signs his artwork with his birth name of  Anthony Benedetto) to celebrate his career and to highlight the genuine humanity of his vocal performances.

It’s the first time on stage (after the online release) also for Bernstein in a Bubble by Alexei Ratmansky, inspired by Bernstein’s opera Divertimento, which is considered the quintessence of the American spirit thanks to its variety and charm.

Also in the Rhythm and Rapture program, Some Assembly Required by Clark Tippet with music by William Bolcom, an unconventional pas de deux that follows the moments of tension and companionship in a relationship.

If you are interested in the program and tickets, I strongly recommend avoiding going crazy on the Lincoln Center website, which for some reason doesn’t give any information about the ABT’s fall season, and to go either on the company’s website or to the David H. Koch Theater’s, which will host the season from October 20th to the 31st.


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