This month, American Ballet Theatre principal David Hallberg sees the first test of his directorial chops with the launch of ABT Incubator, the company's latest initiative to promote the creation of new ballets, particularly by in-house talent.
For the first iteration, the choreographers were selected by a panel comprising Hallberg, ABT artistic director Kevin McKenzie, Danspace Project executive director Judy Hussie-Taylor and choreographers Alexei Ratmansky, Jessica Lang and Lar Lubovitch. Beginning Oct. 31, the participating artists (ABT dancers Sung Woo Han, Duncan Lyle, and James Whiteside, freelance choreographer Gabrielle Lamb, and Dance Magazine's own Kelsey Grills) will work on new pieces with ABT and ABT Studio Company dancers.
The choreographers will be provided studio space, a stipend, mentorship and panel discussions during the two-week workshop, which culminates in a final studio showing Nov. 10. Whether these budding dancemakers will be able to parlay their participation into commissions (as has been known to happen at New York City Ballet's New York Choreographic Institute) remains to be seen.