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American Ballet Theatre's WHIPPED CREAM At The Auditorium Theatre

American Ballet Theatre's WHIPPED CREAM At The Auditorium Theatre

American Ballet Theatre (ABT), America's National Ballet Company, brings the Chicago premiere of its new story ballet Whipped Cream to the Auditorium Theatre April 11-14. Whipped Cream features choreography by ABT Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky, sensational sets and stunning costumes by pop-surrealist artist Mark Ryden, and a revived 1924 score by composer Richard Strauss (performed by the Chicago Philharmonic).

In August 2018, the Auditorium Theatre and American Ballet Theatre announced a four-year partnership that will bring ABT to the theatre as a Visiting Resident Company once a year through 2022. Whipped Cream is the first engagement in this partnership, and Chicago is one of just five major cities to host the story ballet since its 2017 premiere at California's Segerstrom Center.

"The Auditorium Theatre is thrilled to start its new partnership with American Ballet Theatre with the joyous Whipped Cream," says Rachel Freund, Auditorium Theatre Interim Chief Executive Officer. "ABT first performed on our landmark stage 50 years ago, and we look forward to continuing our longstanding relationship with this internationally-renowned company with this Chicago premiere."

"We are thrilled to kick off this four-year partnership by bringing the brilliant dancing and whimsical world of Whipped Cream to the Auditorium Theatre stage," says Kara Medoff Barnett, ABT Executive Director. "The 'T' in ABT stands for 'Theatre,' and this ballet delivers a theatrical experience that dazzles and delights. ABT is the only company in the world that performs this ballet, and we look forward to delivering a sugar rush to Chicago."

With all-new choreography by Ratmansky, former director of The Bolshoi Ballet, Whipped Cream follows the story of a young boy who, after receiving his first communion, is rewarded with a trip to a pastry shop. The boy, especially fond of whipped cream, overindulges in sweets and falls into a sugar-induced delirium, in which he encounters mystical creatures, nightmarish puppets, and the beautiful Princess Praline, who comes to his rescue.

Ryden, a celebrated painter known as the founder of the genre "pop surrealism," designed more than 150 costumes and colorful, extravagant sets for the production, incorporating more than 78,000 Swarovski crystals into his intricate designs.

Whipped Cream is set to a rarely heard score by Strauss, which premiered at the Vienna State Opera in 1924. Strauss made his first United States appearance at the Auditorium Theatre in 1904. When he returned to the Auditorium in 1921 for the Chicago Opera Company's revival of Salome, the Chicago Tribune noted that he was working on a new composition, titled Schlagobers (German for "whipped cream"), which "concerns the adventures of a group of children in a confectionary shop." Nearly 100 years later, the Chicago Philharmonic will perform this score live at the Auditorium.

Ryden's creations, Ratmansky's choreography, Strauss' score, and the world-class talent of ABT's dancers make Whipped Cream a show fit for all ages and for any fan of ballet, theatre, or visual arts.

NIB FOUNDATION - International Dance Sponsor
CIBC and THE Robert Thomas BOBINS FOUNDATION - Student Matinee Sponsors
JOYCE CHELBERG - Live Music Sponsor
MORGAN STANLEY - Opening Night Sponsor
Helen Hall MELCHIOR - Performance Sponsor
Tania Castroverde Moskalenko AND ALEXEI MOSKALENKO - Performance Sponsors

About American Ballet Theatre

Recognized by an act of the United States Congress as America's National Ballet Company, American Ballet Theatre is one of the great dance companies in the world. Few ballet companies equal ABT for its combination of size, scope and outreach. Founded in 1940, ABT performs for more than 400,000 people annually. It has made more than 30 international tours to 45 countries, including recent triumphant engagements in Hong Kong, Brisbane, Singapore, Oman, and Paris.

SPECIAL EVENTS - For more information or to purchase tickets to these events, please visit

Student Matinee | Friday, April 12 at 11AM

American Ballet Theatre performs a one-hour Student Matinee for students in grades K-12 at the Auditorium Theatre on Friday, April 12 at 11AM. Tickets may be reserved online here and are $15 per person.

Young Professionals' Night | Friday, April 12 at 6PM

The Auditorium Theatre hosts a special Young Professionals' Night on Friday, April 12. Young Professionals tickets are $50 and include a seat to the performance and a pre-show party with light bites from Cafecito and drinks. Tickets may be reserved online using the promo code YOUNGPRO.

FREE Dance Master Class | Saturday, April 13 at 11AM

Intermediate and advanced dancers are invited to register for the Auditorium Theatre's free Dance Master Class, led by dancers from American Ballet Theatre, on Saturday, April 13 at 11AM. Participants may register online here.

Tea Time Service | Saturday, April 13 at 12:30PM and Sunday, April 14 at 12:30PM

Inspired by Whipped Cream's Princess Tea Flower, the Auditorium Theatre hosts a tea party, featuring a selection of teas and decadent treats, in its historic Dress Circle at 12:30PM before the matinee performances. The Tea Time Service may be added onto ticket orders for the matinee performances for $35.

Fireside Chat | Saturday, April 13 at 6PM

Auditorium Theatre subscribers and donors are invited to an exclusive pre-performance Fireside Chat discussion with American Ballet Theatre, featuring light bites from Trattoria No. 10, wine, and other beverages. Moderated by Alexei Kremnev, president/director of A&A Ballet.

FREE Post-Show Q&A | Sunday, April 14 following the 2PM matinee performance

A free post-show Q&A with the artists of American Ballet Theatre, guided by Auditorium Theatre Creative Engagement staff, takes place immediately following the Sunday, April 14 matinee performance.

Event Information

American Ballet Theatre's Whipped Cream

Thursday, April 11 | 7:30PM
Friday, April 12 | 11AM - One hour Student Matinee performance
Friday, April 12 | 7:30PM
Saturday, April 13 | 2PM
Saturday, April 13 | 7:30PM
Sunday, April 14 | 2PM

Individual tickets start at $44 and are available online here, by phone at 312.341.2300, or in person at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office (50 E Ida B Wells Dr). Discounts are also available for groups of 10+.

The Auditorium Theatre also offers $15 student rush tickets to full-time college students, and $5 tickets to young people ages 13-19 with Urban Gateways' Teen Arts Pass program. The Auditorium Theatre's ADMIT ONE program offers complimentary tickets to Chicago area community groups.

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