Cheers to Misty!

2 Aug

This summer I had the incredible opportunity to intern at American Ballet Theatre!  I worked with Special Events in the Development department.  This summer was especially important for ABT because it was the 75th Anniversary!   Some of the tasks I worked on while there were finalizing budgeting for the Spring 2015 Gala, sending Thank You letters, choosing and sending out Fall Gala invitations, and creating photo galleries on the website.  However, I have to admit that the best days were the days I was actually working events!

Since I began right in the heart of the MET season, there were several occasions where I was working there instead of at 890 Broadway.  I got to assist at dress rehearsals, board meetings, and other exciting events.  Soon enough I knew the backstage of the MET like the back of my own hand!  One of the best occasions was actually a day where there were two separate events scheduled for the same time.  One was an event with American Girl (which was absolutely adorable).  Girls, mothers and dolls were invited to a matinee show of Swan Lake, which also happened to be Misty Copeland’s premier as Odette.  After the performance, they were all invited to a private “milk and cookie” reception upstairs in the Belmont Room.  One of the swans even made a special appearance to take photos with the girls.  They were definitely a little shocked to see a “real live ballerina!”  Before leaving, all girls and dolls received a little goodie bag.  It was so much fun!

Meanwhile, one floor up was a special cocktail party for Misty Copeland.  One of our donors wanted to congratulate Misty on her premier as Odette, so he donated several cases of champagne for a toast.  Many of Misty’s close friends and relatives were invited to celebrate.  She made a very heartfelt speech and even shed a few tears!  Everyone was enjoying it so much that we accidentally stayed past the closing time for the MET (oops, sorry guys).  It was definitely a hectic but exciting evening.

Now, with only two weeks left for us summer interns, I’m starting to reflect on everything I’ve learned and all the new experiences I’ve gained during the last six weeks.  This has been an incredible summer for me, and I want to thank everyone at ABT for giving me this opportunity!

Kristina Weston

Special Events Intern

Summer 2015

5 Years Later…

2 Aug

Five years ago, I walked up to 890 Broadway with my hair in a slicked back bun and a bag full of pointe shoes. My mom kissed me on the cheek and sent me off to my first day of the American Ballet Theatre’s New York Summer Intensive. Everyday, I worked with world-renowned teachers on classical repertoire and daily technique. While the dancing was certainly my main focus, I couldn’t help but notice the office staff that occasionally appeared in the halls. Set apart by their lack of tights and freely styled hair, these young professionals represented a side of ballet that I’d never really known: arts administration. Instantly, a curiosity sparked in me to eventually take on a role in this behind-the-scenes aspect of dance.

Fast forward to this past May, and I’m still walking up to 890 Broadway, but this time with no bun or pointe shoes. This summer, I finally got to fulfill that administrative interest as an intern with ABT’s National Training Curriculum Department.

The NTC, a recent addition to ABT’s many education initiatives, seeks to spread the values of proper ballet training through a detailed syllabus and knowledge of injury prevention. The main way to broadcast this curriculum is through Teacher Training Sessions and furthermore, Affiliate Exams. The sessions involve multiple lectures, observations, and examinations for committed instructors who hope to come out of the training with a coveted ABT Certification. Once teachers have become certified, they can then move on to the Affiliate Exams, in which they present students taught under the NTC for evaluation.

Throughout my experience, one of my favorite elements was how the teacher trainings were able to connect people from not only the U.S. but also several different countries. Applications came in anywhere from Croatia to Italy, all from teachers eager to grasp the principles of the NTC. Once the sessions actually took place, the diversity I had read on paper appeared in the studios of ABT, and I couldn’t be more excited to contribute to a philosophy that was making its way across the globe.

This internship has also provided me with an incredible work environment over the summer. The staff members have all been tremendously welcoming, and I have learned so much from my mentor Meghan Love. I can’t believe how fortunate I was to be surrounded each day by teachers and stars of the ballet world that I admire so greatly. It’s not everyday you receive a guest lecture from former ABT principal Ethan Stiefel or have a casual chat in the office with Raymond Lukens.

I am extremely grateful to ABT for giving me the administrative experience I’d been dreaming about since I was 15. The company truly has an excellent focus on education, and I can’t wait to see the NTC continue to grow in schools worldwide.

Nicole Luo

National Training Curriculum Intern

Summer 2015

Marketing, Meat Judging and Ethan Stiefel

19 Jul

Intern Name: Cameron Morgan – @CameronMorgan_1 on Twitter/Instagram
Intern Department: Marketing
Intern Dates: Summer 2015

School/College/University: University of Oklahoma
Major: Ballet Performance & Public Relations
Year: Rising senior
Mentors/Bosses: Jim Timm, Dan Casatelli, Stephanie Rainess & Kristen McGuire
Fun Fact: I was a nationally ranked meat science judge through 4-H in high school. (Just ask Dennis)

Current Projects I worked on: A super-duper hush-hush project (!!!), research for the Fall 2015 Season (lots of new ballets and company premieres!), merchandising during shows at the Met, distributing promotional material for the Summer 2015 Met Season, and basically anything and everything they ask me to do!

* * *

This summer, I had the great fortune to intern with American Ballet Theatre. I worked in the Marketing Department and my responsibilities ranged from research to copyediting, with nearly everything in between. (But, I didn’t have to shred anything, make copies or fetch coffee, so that’s good!)

I loved coming to “work” every day here at American Ballet Theatre. In fact, they almost had to keep me from coming to the office! I’ve gotten to help on a number of projects that were essential to the marketing efforts of ABT, and I had fun doing it. I’ve learned a lot about the history of the company, both from an artistic and executive standpoint. And, what better season to intern at ABT than the 75th Anniversary?

As an aspiring professional dancer myself, I reveled in the fact that I got to see so many ballets this summer while working the merchandising boutiques at the Metropolitan Opera House. Honestly, what better inspiration than to see firsthand some of the greatest dancers in the world? In addition, I got to meet so many longtime supporters of Ballet Theatre, many of whom came night after night, show after show. Finally, I got to talk with many of the long-time volunteers and ushers who have watched ABT dancers for years.

This marketing internship combined my two passions, ballet and communication. I was able to see the behind-the-scenes of one of the greatest ballet companies in the world. I realized, in real-time, the impact of marketing and promotional efforts. Especially through social media, I was able to see how audiences reacted to the materials that we created and presented to them (photos and videos are extremely popular).

Overall, this internship has solidified my long-term goal: owning a public relations/marketing agency that caters to the needs of performing and fine arts organizations and the arts & culture sector. I found out obstacles that I would face in that endeavor as well – namely affordability, feasibility and artistic approval. However, in an effort to attract new audiences and retain current ones for the arts, we must find new ways to promote and connect with them. In the future, I hope to be able to take the experience that I have gained with ABT and use it in my career to help build the widest possible audience for the arts.

I’d like to thank all of the people here at ABT who I have met and who have invested their time in me. This has been a great and rewarding experience and I am grateful for the opportunity!
If you would like, please feel free to follow along as I strive for my goals by connecting with me on Twitter and Instagram at @CameronMorgan_1 or online at www.cameronscottmorgan.com.

Until next time!

Cameron Morgan

Marketing Intern

Summer 2015

Best day on the job? Meeting long-time dance hero, Ethan Stiefel!

Best day on the job? Meeting long-time dance hero, Ethan Stiefel!

Opportunities Galore!

19 Jul

One would think being an intern at American Ballet Theatre, America’s National Ballet Company, would be opportunity enough. However, that is just the beginning! This summer during the 75th Anniversary season I am lucky enough to be a marketing intern for ABT. This includes working in the company’s offices and selling merchandise at The Metropolitan Opera House.

One of the first great parts of being intern at ABT is the intern exchange program. As part of an intern exchange program with the Roundabout Theatre Company we took a backstage tour of the Met with ABT’s general manager David Lansky, learned what it takes to tour a major ballet company around the world, and got to see the new restaging of The Sleeping Beauty by Alexei Ratmansky. But that’s not all.

Every week, all of the ABT interns gather for morning meetings and we are lucky enough to have guest speakers. We had the chance to meet former ABT Principal Dancer Ethan Stiefel, every dancer’s dream. He gave great insight into the transitions dancers make after their performance career. We also the pleasure to meet with Valentino Carlotti, who is on the Board of Trustees for ABT and Misty Copeland’s sponsor. Specifically he is the Co-Chair of the Finance Committee and is extremely involved with the company. He spoke about his background – where he went to school and his current career. However, his love for the arts and view on life was truly inspiring. Among his great advice he said, “You do have thoughts, ideas, and perspectives! Don’t be afraid to speak. Form your narrative”. Like I said, inspirational.

Lastly, the best thing about this internship is that I get to combine both of my majors and passions: arts administration and dance. Experts in both fields surround me and I’ve learned so much in such a short time. It’s a great time for time for dance and it’s a great time for summer internships.

Ashley Alvarez

Marketing Intern

Summer 2015

Ashley on the stage of the Met

Ashley on the stage of the Met

Roundabout Theatre Exchange: June 11, 2015

12 Jul

As part of ABT’s Summer Internship Program, ABT’s Interns and Roundabout Theatre Company’s Summer Interns joined each other for a night at the Metropolitan Opera House. This night, we saw American Ballet Theatre perform Alexei Ratmansky’s new production of The Sleeping Beauty with Sarah Lane as Princess Aurora and the dazzling Herman Cornejo as Prince Désiré.

We first met the other interns outside of the opera house at the fountain where we proceeded to take a group picture and continued on to meet ABT’s General Manager, David G. Lansky. He spoke with us about his responsibilities as the General Manager of company, and what his career at ABT and working in arts administration has been like for him. For me, it was incredible to hear about the amount of different tasks that David has, from figuring out the tours of the company, (ABT is a touring company after all) and what it takes to run ABT’s spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House. Along with this, it was great fun to hear about ABT’s experiences on tours in places such as Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Oman along with their upcoming tours.

After speaking with David for a short while, he proceeded to give us a tour of the backstage of the Metropolitan Opera House and he even took us on the stage. What a sight! It was incredible to be on the stage and taking in the view that many great dancers and opera singers have always had. It was also great to be on stage while ABT principal dancers were warming up behind us.

I can say that it was certainly a night to remember that finished with wonderful dancing and glorious music. It was only the beginning of ABT’s summer internship program and I look forward to what’s up ahead.

Iosu Bascaran

2015 Summer Membership Intern

ABT and Roundabout Theatre Interns before The Sleeping Beauty

ABT and Roundabout Theatre Interns before the June 11th performance of The Sleeping Beauty

Team Reunion

29 Jun

I’ve just finished my four months at ABT, which feels like no time at all, especially because I spent that four months working toward one event—an event that began on a Saturday morning and ended in the very early hours of Sunday. This event was the 2015 alumni reunion, which brought together about two hundred former dancers of ABT, plus current dancers and some former and current staff, to celebrate the company’s 75th Anniversary. It was an enormous undertaking, accomplished mostly by a small group of people I like to call Team Reunion.

There were five of us on Team Reunion: two current members of the artistic staff, one former member of the artistic staff, the volunteer alumni coordinator, and me, the artistic intern. My duties as the artistic intern were very much focused on the reunion, but while I was working in the artistic department I was also able to observe the daily life of the company. In the offices at 890 Broadway I sat right outside the main artistic offices (the artistic administrator, artistic director, associate artistic director, rehearsal coordinator, and assistant to the artistic staff). Then at the Metropolitan Opera House, where the artistic staff moves for the company’s spring season, I sat in the green room with most of the same people.

In my own little corner, in my own little chair

In my own little corner, in my own little chair

On Team Reunion, my primary job was to keep an eye on all the information coming in and compile it into lists that made sense. I maintained and assembled lots and lots of lists. On the days I went into work, my routine was to grab my computer from the file cabinet (at 890) or the wooden crate (at the Met), check my email, and adjust my lists. Some of these lists eventually translated into such concrete things as address labels for invitations and nametags for party guests.

Nametags on nametags on nametags

Nametags on nametags on nametags

I was proud of those little adhesive pieces of paper. But the real magic was seeing those lists of names become crowds of people. Our plans, which had been started in September and to which I began contributing in February, became an actual-thing-that-happened in May. It was awesome to have the experience of seeing this enormous project through to the finish and to be an important part of Team Reunion, even for such a short time.

Seven decades of ABT history gathering for a group photo on the Met stairs

Seven decades of ABT history gathering for a group photo on the Met stairs

Bridget Jamison

Artistic Intern

Spring 2015

What happens when Dennis seats you next to Ethan Stiefel…

29 Jun

In my opinion, one of the best-kept secret performances of ABT is at the Guggenheim’s Work and Process program. Being an education intern reporting to the Associate Director of Education and Training, Dennis Walters, preparing for this event was one of my largest projects for the semester. This year, the theme of all ABT events is to celebrate the 75 years of the company. This event at the Guggenheim was no exception. There were three shows: Sunday matinee, Sunday evening, and Monday evening, with each program covering 25 years of American Ballet Theatre from 1940-2015. The shows were a mix of performances by ABT’s company, broken up by panelist discussions.

My responsibility leading up to the event was to create three separate presentations that compile photographs of leading dancers, choreographers, and new ballets for each twenty-five year segment. Let me tell you, this was no small feat! Being a ballet nerd, I thoroughly enjoyed going through all of the photos from decades of performances by the stars of ABT. Choosing which was the best image for each star was some of the most challenging decisions I’ve had to make but there was comfort knowing that no photo would be the wrong photo.

Working behind the scenes was one of the aspects of the internship that I was most looking forward to. Arriving on Sunday afternoon through the stage door of the Guggenheim, knowing you were on the list was a special feeling. It was only up from here… I walked into the theater to be faced with company class and Gillian Murphy front and center, right in front of me. The day preparing for the event was spent getting panelists and dancers to sign their release forms and assisting patrons in receiving their tickets and getting to their seats comfortably. The energy in the ladies’ dressing room was so powerful and had the signature smell of all the hairspray in the world seeming to be in that one room. Waiting outside for the performance to start and having a patron come up to you saying “Oh, you’re with ABT, I’m _____ and I believe you have my tickets” or something along those lines makes you stand up a bit taller and with more attention knowing that you are representing this institution.

The greatest moment of all though was when Dennis handed me a ticket for myself to watch the show and simply said, “I’ll put you next to Ethan.” I’m pretty sure my heart stopped and I could not breath. I was going to watch the afternoon show next to Ethan Stiefel, one of my favorite dancers and star of my favorite dance cult movie, Center Stage. Just a casual afternoon watching an exclusive performance of American Ballet Theatre, sitting next to Ethan who just came to watch his fiancé, Gillian Murphy, perform. I introduced myself once seated next to him and we had a lovely, light conversation before the show began that I will remember forever.

You never know who you are going to meet during your time at ABT and I have been fortunate enough to converse with those I have been looking up to for years and years. I would always advise future interns to not be so star struck as I appeared to be – everyone at ABT is so friendly and down-to-earth and as an intern, you belong here too so don’t be shy!

Amanda Fornieri

Educational Outreach Intern

Spring 2015

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