ABTMissionStatementAmerican Ballet Theatre
American Ballet TheatreAmerican Ballet Theatre
Desmond Richardson, the first black Principal Dancer with ABT
Richardson joined ABT as a Principal Dancer in 1997, after achieving success at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Frankfurt Ballet.
With ABT, Richardson created leading roles in Othello and Remanso, and performed in such classics as The Sleeping Beauty and Romeo & Juliet.
Richardson is recognized not only for his talent, but also for his expansive and trailblazing career in dance, from ABT to Broadway to the silver screen.
Misty Copeland, the first black woman to become Principal Dancer with ABT
Copeland's natural talent was discovered by chance at age 13 during a free ballet class at a Boys and Girls Club in San Pedro, California.
Here, Misty Copeland on pointe at age 14
Copeland joined ABT Studio Company in 2000 and rose quickly through the ranks. She was promoted to Soloist with American Ballet Theatre in 2007.
Misty Copeland and corps de ballet member Gabe Stone Shayer perform the Bluebird Pas de Deux.
Copeland's big break came 5 years later, when she danced the lead role in Firebird at the Metropolitan Opera House - the first black woman at ABT ever to do so.
This Firebird poster featuring Misty Copeland greeted New Yorkers outside the Metropolitan Opera House.
Misty Copeland TIME 100 CoverAmerican Ballet Theatre
As a Soloist with ABT, Copeland was named to TIME Magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People - and landed on the cover.
In August 2015, Misty Copeland was promoted to Principal Dancer with ABT. She was the first black ballerina to reach that title in the Company's 75-year history.
Copeland is congratulated after her debut in Swan Lake by her mentor, former ballerina Raven Wilkinson (1935-2018).
Since her promotion, Copeland has transcended ballet stardom and risen to fame in pop culture. She's written books...
...starred in movies...
...and even has her own Barbie Doll!
Through it all, Copeland remains dedicated to meeting young dancers of color around the world and inspiring them to follow their dreams.
Misty Copeland in ABT Fall 2018 video by Ezra HurwitzAmerican Ballet Theatre
ABT is working to change the face of ballet with its diversity and inclusion initiative, Project Plié.
Project Plié - ABT's Diversity & Inclusion initiativeAmerican Ballet Theatre
Project Plié DescriptionAmerican Ballet Theatre
Talented students in New York City are invited to attend the Bridge Class at the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.
The class provides a 'bridge' between ABT and the NYC community, as well as the opportunity for young talent to work with elite faculty members and explore the possibility of a career in dance.
ABT Soloist Calvin Royal III discusses his career with ABT Summer Intensive students.
In 2013, ABT JKO student Erica Lall was selected to receive the first Project Plié Scholarship Award in honor of the late Josephine Premice-Fales.
Lall is now a member of the corps de ballet and has danced featured roles in classical and repertory works with ABT on stages around the world.
ABT honors the legacy of dancers of color during Black History Month and strives to change the future of ballet with Project Plié. Continue exploring this slideshow to meet black artists currently dancing with ABT.
Madison Brown, a 2018-19 ABT Summer Intensive National Training Scholar
Jose Sebastian in Serenade after Plato's Symposium (2016) by Marty SohlAmerican Ballet Theatre
Jose Sebastian joined ABT's corps de ballet in 2010. He has danced leading roles in repertory works such as AFTERITE, Serenade after Plato's Symposium and Thirteen Diversions.
Courtney Lavine in AfterEffect. by Rosalie O'ConnorAmerican Ballet Theatre
Courtney Lavine began in the ABT Studio Company and joined the corps de ballet in 2010.
Gabe Stone Shayer in Serenade after Plato's Symposium (2016) by Rosalie O'ConnorAmerican Ballet Theatre
Gabe Stone Shayer joined ABT's corps de ballet in 2012. He won the 2016 Clive Barnes Award for Dance.
Calvin Royal III in ABT Fall 2018 video by Ezra HurwitzAmerican Ballet Theatre
Calvin Royal III in Dream within a dream (deferred) by Marty SohlAmerican Ballet Theatre
Calvin Royal III joined ABT in 2011 and was promoted to Soloist in 2017. His leading roles include Espada in Don Quixote and von Rothbart in Swan Lake.
Brooklyn Mack in Le Corsaire Pas de Deux by Carlos QuezadaAmerican Ballet Theatre
Brooklyn Mack trained with ABT Studio Company in 2005. ABT welcomes Mack as a Guest Artist in June 2019. See him perform in Le Corsaire at the Met: https://bit.ly/2RczFgC
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