American Ballet Theater plans a return to the Met Opera stage


After repeated delays brought by the pandemic, the American Ballet Theater plans to return to the Metropolitan Opera House stage next summer for the first time in three years, the company said Thursday.

The Ballet Theater will present a five-week season starting in June that will feature repertoire staples, such as “Don Quixote” and “Swan Lake”, as well as new works, including “Of Love and Rage” by Alexei Ratmansky and a new ballet by Alonzo King, his first for the company.

Company executives hope the return to the Met will mark a return to normal after the coronavirus forced the cancellation of two seasons and cost the Ballet Theater millions of dollars in ticket revenue and touring fees.

We really have to be the antidote to the craziness out there, ”said Kevin McKenzie, artistic director of the company, in an interview. “We represent human excellence – what a human being can accomplish as a creative being. The world needs this.

McKenzie said the recent spread of new variants of the virus was worrying, but the company had shown it can safely host shows by maintaining strict rules, including a vaccine warrant for members of the public and performers. artists.

“What we’re starting to realize is that we just need to plan for these protocols for the rest of our lives and not even think it’s going to get better,” McKenzie said. “And then it will be a wonderful surprise when it does.”

The season opens on June 13 with a gala performance of “Don Quixote,” featuring a different lead cast in each act. Two other complete ballets will be presented: Tchaikovsky’s classic “Swan Lake”, directed by McKenzie after Petipa; and “Romeo and Juliet” by Kenneth MacMillan, on Prokofiev.

The season also includes the New York premiere of “Of Love and Rage,” a new one-night ballet, which was originally scheduled to debut in 2020. King’s new dance is set to music by the jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran.

Also on the schedule are “Theme and Variations” by George Balanchine and “ZigZag” by Jessica Lang, to songs recorded by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, which Ballet Theater presented at its fall gala.

The coming year will be a year of transition for the ballet theater. In January, Janet Rollé, Managing Director of Beyoncé’s Entertainment Company, will assume the role of Managing Director and Managing Director.

McKenzie will step down at the end of next year after three decades as artistic director. He said he hoped a successor would be named before the summer season.

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