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American Ballet Theatre, with Brooklyn connections, launches new remote learning resource during COVID-19

April 16, 2020 Editorial Staff
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American Ballet Theatre, popularly known as ABT and designated America’s National Ballet Company by Congress in 2006, has some roots in Brooklyn dating back to 1945.

That year, Brooklyn Heights resident Oliver Smith, notable set designer, artist and owner of the famous “Truman Capote house” at 70 Willow Street, was named co-director of ABT along with Lucia Chase.

Today, some of ABT’s most celebrated dancers, including Isabella Boylston, call Brooklyn home, and they are part of an exciting new online resource created by ABT during this time of virtual classrooms and remote learning.

Called ABTKids Daily, the stimulating educational resource was launched this week, and offers daily updates and inside insights that adult fans, also, will find inspirational. The new online resource is designed to help families and educators build their virtual classrooms during this time of distance learning.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

ABT website will be updated every Monday morning with a new weekly curriculum. Photo courtesy of ABT

The ABTKids Daily page on the ABT website will be updated every Monday morning with a weekly curriculum on classical ballet for children, caregivers and teachers to discover.

Each week, the ABTKids Daily curriculum will adhere to the following themes:

Meet a Dancer Monday: Meet the professional dancers of ABT, who hail from 15 countries and 25 states. Their adventures, life stories and practical advice will motivate and inspire ABTKids of all ages.

Teaching Artist Tuesday: Watch a video with ABT Dance Teaching Artists Alexis Andrews, Richard Toda and Design Teaching Artist Jeff Hopkins as they explore ABT’s repertoire through fun, interactive dance and design activities.

Related: Renowned ABT dancer Misty Copeland to speak about memoir in Bed-Stuy

What’s up Wednesday: Learn fun facts about ABT and the art of ballet with interactive lessons such as “8 Decades of ABT” and “Who is Petipa?”

Throwback Thursday: See snapshots of ABT dancers who were once young students at the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JKO) School, ABT Summer Intensive and ABT Studio Company.

Friday Funtime: Engage in interactive activities including puzzles, drawing exercises and trivia about ABT’s dancers and repertoire.

Isabella Boylston in Swan Lake. Photo: Gene Schiavone

The ABTKids Daily page also links to the ABT JKO School Virtual Class series on the @ABTSchool Instagram and ABT YouTube. These classes engage ABT’s youngest students, as well as the global community at large, by exploring musicality, fostering creativity and imagination, and teaching ballet fundamentals. Classes become available at the following times:

  • ABTots (Ages 2–4): Tuesdays & Thursdays at 10AM ET
  • Primary (Ages 5–8): Mondays & Wednesdays at 2PM ET

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