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David Hallberg to Direct New Choreographic Lab at ABT

David Hallberg in rehearsal. Photo by Kate Longley, Courtesy The Australian Ballet.

Have you ever dreamt of the chance to choreograph for American Ballet Theatre? Thanks to ABT Incubator, the company's newly launched choreographic initiative directed by company principal (and recent author) David Hallberg, that wish could become a reality this fall. The two-week choreographic lab will run from October 31-November 10 at ABT's New York studios and will give both members of the company and freelance choreographers the chance to create new work on dancers from ABT and the ABT Studio Company. Participants will also have access to crucial dance making tools including a stipend, studio space, collaborators, feedback and mentorship from Hallberg and other artists. They'll present their creations in a private showing on November 10. "It has always been my vision to establish a process-oriented hub to explore the directions ballet can forge now and in the future," said Hallberg in a statement released today. "I am thrilled that Incubator will provide the resources for emerging and established creators to explore movement and new paths in dance."


This is one of a series of steps taken by ABT this spring to broaden its reach. Early last month, the company announced the launch of its new, multi-year initiative geared at hiring more female choreographers. Later, the company's annual gala featured an eclectic mix of works including a new, risky work by European contemporary king Wayne McGregor to Igor Stravinsky's infamous Rite of Spring and a piece d'occasion by tap extraordinaire Michelle Dorrance, with the promise of two more Dorrance works over the course of the next year.

Interested in adding your name to the list? Choreographers can apply now through August 31 (see requirements here). Selections will be made by a panel of dance world luminaries including ABT's artist in residence Alexei Ratmansky, artistic director Kevin McKenzie, and Hallberg as well as Danspace director Judy Hussie-Taylor and acclaimed choreographers Lar Lubovitch and Jessica Lang, both of whom have choreographed for ABT in the past. A group of finalists will be invited to audition in person on September 18.

The Conversation
Ballet Stars
Réjean Brandt Photography, Courtesy Royal Winnipeg Ballet

After growing up in Florida, how did you adjust to the climate when you moved to Winnipeg, Canada?

It was shocking. The winter is brutal! Now I know what to expect, but it's still a bit of a shock. I think the first day of snow was September 26th.

Do you have a go-to anecdote about company life?

Once we were on tour in Arkansas for Nutcracker. We got to the finale, and the music cut out. There was a womp-womp moment, the curtain came down, and we had to restart from the top of the coda. But the audience was excited they saw it twice—they felt like they got double their money!

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The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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