As one of the world's premier dance companies, the New York City-based American Ballet Theatre joins the New York City and San Francisco Ballets to complete what London's The Observer calls a "triumvirate of great classical companies defining the American style on the world stage today." Originally founded in 1937 as the Mordkin Ballet, the company's name would be permanently changed to the American Ballet Theatre in 1956 during the directorship of Lucia Chase. Over the course of the Theatre's extensive performance history, the American Ballet Theatre has performed hundreds of dance works from both the standard dance repertoire, and also new works from contemporary choreographers whose new, and often controversial works have served to push the artistic medium of dance into fresh and exciting territory.
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