An evening of elegance and grit to inspire the holidays!

copelandHollywood, 05 December 2016 – The American Ballet Theatre (ABT) hosted its annual Holiday Benefit dinner and performance on Monday evening, and of course Host and French Reporter, Jackie Watson was on hand (and toe) to speak to all the beautiful people on the red carpet!

American Ballet Theatre was founded in 1940 and is recognized as one of the great dance companies in the world. Few ballet companies equal ABT for its combination of size, scope, and outreach and have been home to a number ballet’s legendary stars – including Mikhail Baryshnikov who also served as the Artistic Director of ABT during the 1980s. On 27 April 2006 an act of Congress made the American Ballet Theatre America’s National Ballet Company.

Kara Medoff Barnett set us on the right path by defining what makes ABT special and unique: their dancers. “I can tell you what’s very special about American Ballet Theatre dancers and that is that they are all actors. Not just technicians although they have beautiful technique and they are amazing dancers, but you also believe their characters. And I think that’s the ‘theatre’ part of our name, it’s American Ballet Theatre and I think that what you’ll see in watching ABT dancers perform is that there is a sense of drama.”

“I think what you can expect is a sort of unexpected mix of contemporary and classical work. It’s a testament to the dancers of American Ballet Theatre, their versatility and their depth, that they can handle a wide range of genres,” said Kevin McKenzie, the Artistic Director at ABT, of the evening’s program.

This seemed to suit Lady Jane Seymour well as she said prior to the performance: “I love the ballet and I think it is a great company and I am really looking forward to seeing some dancing and meeting some people who also love ballet.”

Attendees were treated to an amazingly special one-night-only performance by ABT Principal Dancers Stella Abrera, Misty Copeland, Gillian Murphy, Cory Stearns, and James Whiteside dancing scenes from the Company’s unrivaled repertoire, including excerpts from classic ballets such as The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty, as well as scenes from Romeo and Juliet and Don Quixote. As a special treat, the company also performed a new ballet by ABT Principle Dancer, Jeffrey Cirio.

Treat yourself to beauty and elegance, by catching the American Ballet Theatre’s upcoming annual performance of Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker at the Segerstrom Centre for the Arts in Costa Mesa, from 9 to 18 December 2016. And don’t forget to book your tickets for 15 March 2017 when ABT will premiere of Ratmansky’s Whipped Cream. Visit the website at to explore the company’s rich history and repertoire, meet the dancers, and find out how you can become a member of ABT and receive special benefits.

Written by: Miquette Caalsen