Ballet Across America returns to The Kennedy Center this week with a twist: programming curated by American Ballet Theatre principal Misty Copeland and New York City Ballet soloist/resident choreographer Justin Peck. It's a unique opportunity to get inside the heads of two of the most influential figures in American ballet today—so what companies and choreographers did the superstars choose to showcase?
Copeland's program, running Wednesday through Friday, features Nashville Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Black Iris Project. All three are making their Kennedy Center debuts, and as Copeland explains in this video, she made her choices based on both personal connections to the works and to help continue the diversity conversation in ballet.
Saturday and Sunday mark the performances of Peck's picks, which include works by Benjamin Millepied and Kyle Abraham (both L.A. Dance Project and Abraham.In.Motion are appearing at The Kennedy Center for the first time), as well as The Joffrey Ballet in Christopher Wheeldon's Fool's Paradise. And, for a bonus treat, Miami City Ballet principals Patricia Delgado and Jovani Furlan will perform a duet from Peck's Year of the Rabbit.
And at this evening's opening night performance, hosted by none other than NYCB star Sara Mearns, you can catch Stella Abrera, Isabella Boylston, Renan Cerdeiro, Jeanette Delgado, Marcelo Gomes, Desmond Richardson, Calvin Royal III and James Whiteside, plus students of ABT's JKO School and Nashville Ballet.