American Ballet Theatre to perform free outdoor shows in St. Louis on July 14

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Image: ABT Across America Website (https://www.abt.org/events/abt-across-america/)

American Ballet Theatre (ABT) will take to the road this summer, traveling by bus and truck to eight U.S. cities and arriving in St. Louis on Wednesday, July 14.

A group of St. Louis arts leaders including Susan Sherman, who belongs to Temple Emanuel, as well as COCA and St. Louis Shakespeare Festival will present ABT Across America for two performances at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 14 outdoors at Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park. Tickets are free and may be reserved now at St. Louis Shakespeare Festival’s website, stlshakes.org/abt.

Twenty 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 in public parks and parking lots. Performances 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 Geminani, Jessica Lang’s “Let Me Sing Forevermore,” a pas 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.

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There will be two ballet masterclasses, taught by two ABT dancers, which will take place for dancers on July 14 at COCA – one for Intermediate Dancers (10 – 11:30 a.m.) and one for Advanced Dancers (12-1:30 p.m.). To be COVID-compliant, classes will be limited to 14 students each, on a first come, first serve reservation basis. (A total of 28 students will be served).

In addition, there will be a beginner masterclass on July 13 (11 a.m. – noon) offered at the Boys & Girls Club – North Grand, for young students of that program.

“St Louis stepped up to bring one of our country’s dance treasures to our city this summer,” said Sherman, a former ABT board member. “In less than two weeks, we raised the funds to put St. Louis on the tour. The two performances in Forest Park are free and open to all – a real cause for celebration after more than a year of no ‘live’ performances. We look forward to welcoming America’s Dance Company on July 14 (“Bastille Day and Ballet”) and sharing this extraordinary company with everyone who appreciates music, dance and just plain fun.”

The eight-city tour includes Lincoln, Neb.; Iowa City, Iowa; Chicago; Minneapolis; St. Louis; Charleston, S.C.; Middleburg, Va. and New York. For tickets and information, visit stlshakes.org/abt or call 314-287-3348.