ABT’s first-ever online celebration in honor of the 80th anniversary to stream on YouTube

Misty Copeland and Calvin Royal III. Photo: Ruth Hogben.

Bringing the history, artistry and optimism of American Ballet Theatre to homes across the world, ABT presents American Ballet Theatre: Together Tonight, a gala celebration of new work created in social isolation and historical film footage to be streamed on American Ballet Theatre’s YouTube channel on Tuesday evening, May 12 from 7–8 PM EDT.  This unprecedented one-hour, pre-recorded presentation will mark ABT’s 80 years through film, music and new choreography representing the Company’s tradition of celebrating the diversity and dynamism of America through the power of world-class dance.  In addition, virtual experiences and one-of-a-kind items will be available through an online auction open to all ABT fans and supporters on the OneCause platform. For more information, please visit www.abt.org/TogetherTonight.

Produced by Matador Content and curated by ABT dancers and artistic staff, ABT: Together Tonight will benefit the ABT Crisis Relief Fund, which provides needed assistance to ABT’s artists—dancers, production crew, rehearsal pianists, ballet masters and education faculty—directly impacted by loss of income due to the COVID-19 health crisis.  Gala guests will be able to donate online to the fund throughout the evening through ABT’s website. 

Headliners and Celebrity Guests

Headliners for ABT: Together Tonight include the legendary Tony Bennett singing “Fly Me to the Moon” to adapted choreography by Jessica Lang (Let Me Sing Forevermore) performed on location in Central Park by ABT Soloists Catherine Hurlin and Aran Bell, a talented couple who are sheltering in place together.  Oscar nominee and Tony Award® winner Cynthia Erivo perform “America the Beautiful” against a backdrop of ABT artists – and everyday Americans – dancing across the nation and the world as they stay at home, #AloneButTogether.

Special guests scheduled to toast ABT’s 80th Anniversary during Together Tonight include Katie Couric, Jennifer Garner, Kelly Ripa, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Julianna Margulies, Margaret Qualley, Chita Rivera, Deborah Roberts, Liev Schreiber, Al Roker, Nate Berkus, Jeremiah Brent, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Julio Bocca, Roberto Bolle, Alessandra Ferri and Carla Fracci.

80th Anniversary Tribute and New Work

ABT: Together Tonight, narrated by ABT dancers and leaders, celebrities, alumni and special guests, will present viewers with rarely-seen glimpses of ABT’s 80-year history in footage of past performances. Gala guests will also enjoy interviews with ABT artists, celebrity greetings, performances by the ABT Orchestra, and a video montage with members of the ABT Studio Company and students of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School introduced by New York Yankees pitcher Adam Ottavino.

Additional highlights of the gala evening will include a tribute to the 20th Anniversary of Kevin McKenzie’s Swan Lake and newly adapted choreography by tap dance legend Michelle Dorrance, created to honor frontline essential workers everywhere.  Dorrance’s percussive dance, adapted from her 2018 work Dream within a Dream (deferred), will be performed by the Company’s current roster of dancers, filmed from their home locations, and conclude with footage of the daily 7 PM #ClapBecauseWeCareNYC celebration of health care workers.  A new work by choreographer Jessica Lang entitled Our Common Fate, set to David Lang’s the national anthems, will feature ABT dancers and ABT Studio Company members performing from locations across the country.

Online ABT80 Auction to Benefit ABT Crisis Relief

An online auction of unique ABT items and virtual experiences will be available for bidding throughout the evening’s program to benefit the ABT Crisis Relief Fund.  Virtual offerings include ABT dancers conducting cooking classes, ballet lessons, conversations, specialized workouts and children’s story times.  Guests can bid on items beginning Friday, May 8 through Thursday, May 14, 2020 on the OneCause platform.

For more information on American Ballet Theatre, online offerings and the ABT Crisis Relief Fund, you can visit www.abt.org/TogetherTonight.