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ABT Across America Rolls into Charleston on July 17th

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America’s National Ballet Company® will take to the road this summer, traveling by bus and truck to 8 U.S. cities and arriving in Charleston on Saturday, July 17th. Charleston Gaillard Center will present ABT Across America for a performance on Saturday, July 17 performed outdoors at The Citadel’s parade ground, Summerall Field. RSVP now on gaillardcenter.org/abt-across-america.

ABT Across America builds on ABT’s history of cross-country tours in the 1940s and 1950s. 20 ABT dancers and 28 support crew will travel across 14 states, for a total of 3,100 miles, performing outdoors for socially distanced audiences.  These unique performances will take place on a custom-built 40’ x 76’ stage that folds out of an 18-wheeler truck.  

Each 50-minute show will be performed without an intermission.  Repertory for ABT Across America will feature Lauren Lovette’s La Follia Variations, a work for eight dancers set to music by Francesco Geminiani, Jessica Lang’s Let Me Sing Forevermore, a pas de deux blending ballet and jazz vocabulary set to songs sung by Tony Bennett, Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Indestructible Light, a celebration of American jazz music, and a classical pas de deux from ABT’s extensive repertoire.  Dancers scheduled to participate in the ABT Across America tour include Lauren Bonfiglio, Jacob Clerico, Michael de la Nuez, Carlos Gonzalez, Kiely Groenewegen, Sung Woo Han, Catherine Hurlin, Anabel Katsnelson, Kanon Kimura, Melvin Lawovi, Tyler Maloney, Joseph Markey, Abbey Marrison, Hannah Marshall, Betsy McBride, Duncan McIlwaine, João Menegussi, Chloe Misseldine, Cory Stearns, and Devon Teuscher.

The Charleston Gaillard Center’s Education and Community Program will also host an educational opportunity on Saturday, July 17. More information will be available on the Gaillard Center’s website in the coming weeks.  All activity will take place according to state and local guidelines for health and safety.

“As necessity is the mother of invention, I am delighted to announce ABT Across America,” said ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. “With most indoor performing arts centers still closed, these outdoor settings will allow ABT’s dancers to share their artistry, excellence, and optimism.”

Stephen A. Bedard, President and CEO of the Charleston Gaillard Center noted, “We are thrilled to present ABT Across America this summer at The Citadel. While our Education & Community Program frequently serves our community outside our walls, this performance gives us a unique opportunity to present world-renowned artists outside of our beautiful venue. We extend our sincerest thanks to American Ballet Theatre, Citadel alumnus, Bill Moody, and The Citadel for making this event happen!”

Therese Spaseff, Director of Entertainment & Programming at the Charleston Gaillard Center, states, “Our hope with this performance is to share with our community the magic of ballet and inspire our local, or future Lowcountry, dancers. We see this event as a kick-off for future, deeper community cultivation with ABT in our Lowcountry, and we couldn’t think of a better event to give a taste of what’s to come at the Charleston Gaillard Center.”

Dr. Renée D. Anderson, Vice Chair and CEO of the Gaillard Performance Hall Foundation expressed, “What an honor to have Charleston’s Gaillard Center team selected to offer America’s National Ballet Company to our Lowcountry community.  This is a stage-setting preview of world-class dance performance to be presented on the Gaillard stage, and we are grateful to donors who are supporting programming that benefits not only our adult citizens but also our children.”

   “The Citadel –especially through our Fine Arts program – has a long history of supporting and interacting with the Lowcountry’s artistic community,” said Brian Madison Jones, Ph.D., dean of The Citadel’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences. “Though the majority of our cadets and students are not on campus in the summer, I’m delighted that The Citadel is still finding ways to support the arts while also bringing our local community the kinds of cultural opportunities that have been too far and few between throughout the pandemic.”

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. Recognized as a living national treasure since its founding in 1940, ABT annually tours the United States, performing for more than 300,000 people, and is the only major cultural institution to do so. For over 80 years, the Company has appeared in a total of 45 countries and has performed in all 50 states of the United States. ABT has recently enjoyed triumphant successes with engagements in Paris, Singapore, and Hong Kong. On April 27, 2006, by an act of Congress, American Ballet Theatre was designated America’s National Ballet Company®.

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