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American Ballet Theatre: A History 1x104

Delving into the rich history of one of the world’s preeminent ballet companies, Emmy®- and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Ric Burns combines intimate rehearsal footage, virtuoso performances, and interviews with American Ballet Theatre’s key figures to chronicle the rise of the company from its earliest days as a small, financially struggling collective to its pinnacle as one of the most respected and revered dance companies in the world. Burns was given unprecedented access to the company and shot hundreds of hours of original footage, including dramatic live performances in Paris and Havana, grueling rehearsals at ABT’s flagship studio in New York City, and slow-motion captures at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, New York.

Shot by Emmy®-winning cinematographer Buddy Squires and a 30-person crew using Phantom Flex cameras, which capture up to 2,500 frames per second and bring to life even the smallest of movements, the footage brings a new dimension to the understanding of the extraordinary efforts made in the perfection of form—from the delicate placement of a fingertip to the perfectly executed jete. Combined with hundreds of carefully curated stills from archives across the country and rare footage of ballet icons Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Twyla Tharp and Mikhail Baryshnikov, American Ballet Theatre: A History provides a comprehensive inside look at American Ballet Theatre and the world of professional ballet.