ABT corps de ballet member Patrick Frenette, Courtesy ABT

ABT & Other Companies Ship Their Dancers Pieces of Harlequin Floors

After canceling its spring tours due to COVID-19, American Ballet Theatre recently announced that it's also calling off its eight-week season at New York City's Metropolitan Opera House.

It's going to be a huge hit to the company's bottom line. Nevertheless, ABT decided to send its dancers a gift last week: a piece of vinyl flooring from Harlequin Floors. Although company members might be confined to dancing at home for the foreseeable future, at least they'll have the proper surface.


ABT corps member Patrick Frenette

Courtesy ABT

Other major ballet companies have started similar initiatives, and Harlequin is busy fulfilling the influx of orders with a skeleton crew that's keeping social distance inside its New Jersey warehouse.

ABT director of production James Whitehill says the idea to send its dancers flooring came from corps de ballet member Luigi Crispino, who found out that Harlequin was selling small sections for home studios. Crispino asked if company management could help the dancers navigate that process.

ABT polled the dancers to find out how many would be interested. Then they placed a single order for 68 pieces, paid for it all and shipped them out to company members isolating everywhere from Australia to Hawaii. They've also since offered a free code for ballet masters and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School faculty members to order floors from Harlequin directly.

The floor ABT sent is Harlequin's Cascade surface—the same one the company uses in its studios and onstage. The total cost, including shipping, averaged out to about $100 per floor.

"The dancers will be able to keep them for good," says Whitehill, "and use them hopefully not during another pandemic, but during happier times when they're just looking for something to do on the weekends."

Latest Posts


CalArts dance students. Photo by Josh S. Rose, Courtesy CalArts

4 Reasons Interdisciplinary Education Can Make You a Stronger Dancer, According to CalArts

After years spent training in their childhood studio, it can be hard for dancers to realize exactly how many pathways there are toward career success. The School of Dance at CalArts aims to show its students all of them.

Built with the intention to break barriers and bend the rules, CalArts' interdisciplinary curriculum ensures that students take classes that cover an entire spectrum of artistic approaches. The result? A dance program that gives you much more than just dance.

Last week, Dance Magazine caught up with Kevin Whitmire, assistant director of admission for CalArts School of Dance, and recent alum Kevin Zambrano for the inside scoop on how an interdisciplinary curriculum can make you a stronger artist. Watch the full event below, and read on for the highlights.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
July 2021