American Ballet Theatre

Made possible, in part, with support from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and the Jenny L. Semans Koortbojian Trust in coordination with Duke Arts—Office of the Vice Provost of the Arts.

Last season, Duke Performances embarked on an audacious three-year collaboration with American Ballet Theatre (ABT), one of the world’s leading classical ballet companies. This wide-ranging partnership includes on-campus residencies with ABT’s pre-professional Studio Company, public performances of Giselle by ABT’s Main Company, community engagement, monthly visits by master teachers from ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, and the development of one ballet world premiere each year — through ABT’s Women’s Movement Initiative — by contemporary dance-theater choreographer Stefanie Batten Bland.

For two weeks in January 2018, Batten Bland, in collaboration with the Studio Company, built the first movement of a three-part work that investigates the literal and theoretical realms of monuments: how they are constructed, deactivated, and repurposed, within and outside ballet. In February 2019, Batten Bland returns to the Rubenstein Arts Center’s airy state-of-the-art “Dance Cube” studio with the Studio Company for a two-week residency that will not only work toward performances of the second movement of the three-part commission but will also offer Duke and Durham communities chances to observe rehearsal, engage in site-specific movement explorations related to Batten Bland’s work, and engage directly with ABT personnel for a glimpse into the inner workings of a classical ballet institution.