American Ballet Theatre – In Need Of A Makeover

American Ballet Theatre has a problem. “The median age of the ABT audience hovers around 55. These guys got hooked during the ballet craze of the 70s, and they will keep showing up into their dotage. But then what?” So ABT commissioned a media campaign to jazz up its image. But, writes Apollinaire Scherr, “ballet shouldn’t have to compete in the same market as inspirational seminars and Adam Sandler movies. ABT has everything it needs to draw an audience of its own: a large, well-trained corps, excellent coaches, a smartly conducted orchestra, brilliant, ardent principal dancers and a palpable group pleasure in exuberant performance. So what’s the problem? Why isn’t the Met bubbling over with new life? Why hasn’t ballet maintained its popular appeal?”