Photo Flash: Inside American Ballet Theatre's Opening Night Gala

American Ballet Theatre's Opening Night Gala at New York City Center on Tuesday, October 16 celebrated the 70th anniversary of Agnes De Mille's Rodeo with a special tribute to the ballet's premiere. First performed by The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo on October 16, 1942 at the Metropolitan Opera House, de Mille's groundbreaking Western ballet features a unique combination of ballet and Broadway-style dancing set to Aaron Copland's famous score.

A Gala Dinner at New York's Pierre Hotel followed the performance. Mildred C. Brinn was honored with the 2012 Melville Straus Leadership Achievement Award, in recognition of her exemplary leadership and outstanding commitment to the arts. Frederic Franklin, a member of Rodeo's original cast, served as Honorary Artistic Chair, Gala co-chairs included Linda Allard, Victoria Phillips Geduld and Nancy McCormic with Gala Junior Chairs; Sarah Arison and Daniel Cappello.American Ballet Theatre is considered one of the greatest dance companies in the world. Recognized as a living National Treasure since its founding in 1940, ABT performs for more than 600,000 people annually. Over its 70-year history, the Company has appeared in all fifty states of the United States, and in 42 countries. On April 27, 2006, by an act of Congress, American Ballet Theatrebecame America’s National Ballet Company.

When American Ballet Theatre was launched in 1939, the aim was to develop a repertoire of the best ballets from the past and to encourage the creation of new works by gifted young choreographers. Under the direction of Lucia Chase and Oliver Smith from 1940 to 1980, the Company more than fulfilled that aim. The repertoire, perhaps unmatched in the history of ballet, includes all of the great full-length ballets of the nineteenth century, such as Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and Giselle, among others. In 1980, Mikhail Baryshnikov became Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre, under his leadership, numerous classical ballets were staged, restaged and refurbished, and the Company experienced a strengthening and refining of the classical tradition. The tradition of excellence continues with Artistic Director, Kevin McKenzie.For more information on the American Ballet Theatre see: www.abt.org

Photo Credit: Rob Rich

Photo Flash: Inside American Ballet Theatre's Opening Night Gala

Photo Flash: Inside American Ballet Theatre's Opening Night Gala
CameRon Silver

Photo Flash: Inside American Ballet Theatre's Opening Night Gala
Carmen del'Orefice and Adam Brecht

Photo Flash: Inside American Ballet Theatre's Opening Night Gala
Cristen Barker and Nigel Barker

Photo Flash: Inside American Ballet Theatre's Opening Night Gala
Robyn Lawley

Photo Flash: Inside American Ballet Theatre's Opening Night Gala
Robyn Lawley

Photo Flash: Inside American Ballet Theatre's Opening Night Gala
Anka Palitz

Photo Flash: Inside American Ballet Theatre's Opening Night Gala
Alexandra Leighton




More On: American Ballet Theatre, City Center, Agnes De Mille, 's Rodeo with a special tribute to the ballet's premiere. First performed by , The Ballet Russe, Monte Carlo, Aaron Copland,

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