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American Ballet Theatre (2015) (Scene from Cinderella; Photo by Rosalie O'Connor)

American Ballet Theatre

American Ballet Theatre returns for its annual engagement with Ashton's Cinderella and a program featuring Balanchine's Theme & Variations, Tudor's Pillar of Fire, and Tharp's Push Comes to Shove.

  • Mar. 24 - 29, 2015
  • Opera House
  • Running Time: TBA
  • $25.00 - $109.00

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Tickets go on sale December 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM to the public.
November 24, 2014 at 10:00 AM to Kennedy Center Members
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American Ballet Theatre
Kevin McKenzie, Artistic Director
with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra
March 26–29
Choreography by Frederick Ashton
Music by Sergei Prokofiev
Sets and Costumes by David Walker
March 24 & 25
Theme and Variations
Pillar of Fire
Push Comes to Shove
(Lamb and Haydn/Tharp)
"A victory for American dance"
--San Francisco Chronicle
"One of the world's great classical troupes"
--The New York Times
American Ballet Theatre, recognized as America's National Ballet Company(r), celebrates its 75th Anniversary of bringing the greatest dance to America and American dance to the world. A Washington favorite and a company that has performed here every year since the Center's opening in 1971, ABT returns with Frederick Ashton's exquisitely romantic and magical Cinderella. Loosely following the traditional fairy tale, the story begins with Cinderella's solo in the kitchen as she dreams of one day becoming a ballerina. The dream is realized when she steps into the Grand Ballroom of the Prince's castle. At the end of the ball, she takes her place back in the kitchen; it is there that she recalls the "glass slippers," which in Ashton's ballet are replaced by pointe shoes.
The Company will also dance a program of works choreographed especially for ABT. Created in 1947 by Balanchine, Theme and Variations is set to the final movement of Tchaikovsky's Suite No. 3 for Orchestra. The piece, which made stars of Alicia Alonso and Igor Youskevitch, is a plotless ballet intended to, as Balanchine once wrote, "evoke that great period in classical dancing when Russian ballet flourished."
Antony Tudor's very first American project after arriving from London, Pillar of Fire debuted in 1942. Filled with passion and anguish, the story follows Hagar, an unmarried woman impregnated by a man she does not love. Ostracized by her community, she despairs at finding happiness until her one true love offers her acceptance and forgiveness.
Commissioned by ABT in 1976 as a way to highlight their newest premier danseur at the time, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Twyla Tharp's Push Comes to Shove is "cheerfully deranged but stylistically engrossing" (The New York Times). Set to the ragtime stylings of Joseph Lamb and the classical music of Franz Joseph Haydn, the ballet "maintains its own surreal internal logic and interacts with that score with felicitous wit" (The New York Times) and is frequently credited with coining the phrase "crossover ballet."


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