A Look at the LOC’s New Ballet Archives

Last month, the Library of Congress announced that it had acquired the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) archives--more than 50,000 items of visual and written documentation--and would mount an exhibit to celebrate not only the major donation but the ABT’s forthcoming 75th anniversary in 2015. The exhibit, American Ballet Theatre: Touring the Globe for 75 Years, showcases a selection of 43 artifacts, photographs, scores, and costumes, and is currently on view in the Library’s James Madison Memorial Building in Washington, D.C. Here are some of the stunning images on display.

Pillar of FIre.jpgAlfredo Valente, photographer. Diana Adams in Pillar of Fire, 1942. Judith Chazin-Bennahum Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

18_Swan_Lake_Gregory_3B copy.jpgMyra Armstrong, photographer. Cynthia Gregory in Swan Lake, 1980s. American Ballet Theatre Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

Obj21_PalomaHerreraDonQ_MIRA_(2) copy.jpgMyra Armstrong, photographer. Paloma Hererra as Kitri in Don Quixote, 1990s. American Ballet Theatre Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

ab0042 copy.jpgMarty Sohl, photographer. Anne Milewski and Misty Copeland in La Bayadère, 2009. American Ballet Theatre Collection, Library of Congress.

In a press release, Susan Vita, chief of the Library’s Music Division, said, “The ABT archives is unique in that it connects with so many of our major collections of composers, choreographers, set and lighting designers, and orchestrators. It is a thrill to have America’s Ballet Company’s archives as a centerpiece collection in America’s Library.”

The exhibition will close in D.C. on Jan. 24, 2015 but will then travel to Los Angeles, opening at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in its Library of Congress Ira Gershwin Gallery in March 2015 and running through August 2015.
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