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  • Albany Berkshire Ballet

ABB's 50th Anniversary Season

Albany Berkshire Ballet announced a dynamic mix of new directions, collaborations, performances and special events as part of its half century anniversary as a professional nonprofit ballet company, at a press conference at its Pittsfield, Mass. headquarters Wednesday.

ABB’s 50th anniversary season will be a blend of proud tradition and new exploration as it presents repertory on over a dozen stages in Massachusetts, New York and Vermont, ranging from beloved full length ballets to bold contemporary work that delves into some of the most challenging issues of our time.

Artistic Direction

ABB has augmented its creative potential with an expanded dual artistic directorship, bringing together the vision of both longtime Artistic Director and company Founder Madeline Cantarella Culpo with that of Associate Artistic Director Mary Giannone Talmi.

“Mary has made incredible contributions  to Albany Berkshire Ballet in a variety of roles throughout its history,  since she was in her teens,” said Alison LaRocca, President of ABB’s Board of Directors.  “Her presence as Associate Artistic Director is a crucial part of the new chapter we are entering, in terms of both the creative possibilities and collaborative partnerships it allows us to explore.”

Process and Performance

Through Process and Performance, ABB’ evolving initiative to develop new repertory,  Ms Talmi has invited choreographers Erica Dankmeyer and Janine Parker of  Wiiliams College, Jonathan Riedel of SUNY Purchase and Eric Otto of Skidmore to create new works with company dancers Anna Acker, Ruslan Sprague, Marie Buser, Vincent Brewer, Lisa Iannacito. Some of the fruits of Process and Performance can be seen at a special presentation on Sunday, May 26 (3:00PM) at the PS21 Performing Arts Center in Chatham, New York, a beautiful new venue nearly equidistant to both of the primary communities we serve.

ABB 2019 company dancers – Right to left Ruslan Sprague, Lisa Iannacito, Marie Buser, Anna Acker, Vincent Brewer

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

In addition to a tri-state tour of its 45th annual production of The Nutcracker, ABB will present A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Albany, NY, Northampton, MA and Pittsfield MA Aug 23- Sep 7.

Albany Berkshire Ballet’s magical two act retelling of Shakespeare’s comedy will be staged and choreographed by Paula Weber {Bio}

“One of the things that is so rewarding about this 50th anniversary season is that we are getting to work with some of our people,  extraordinary artists like Paula who have contributed to the success of the company,” said Associate Artistic Artistic Director Mary Talmi.

Performance Dates:

Aug 23 , 7:30PM  – Albany, NY – The Egg Aug 31, 7:30PM – Northampton, MA – Academy of Music Sep 7,  7:30PM – Pittsfield, MA – Colonial Theatre

A special preview of this production will be performed on August 17, as ABB celebrates a half century with a night of dinner, dance and revelry at its 50th anniversary jubilee event, 

The Golden Age of Dance, in the ballroom of the newly renovated Berkshire Plaza Hotel in Pittsfield.

The Nutcracker

Later in the year, ABB will tour its acclaimed production of The Nutcracker for the 45th time, with performances in Pittsfield, Burlington, Albany and Springfield Nov 29- Dec 21.

“One of the greatest pleasures of my life has been to see this tradition grow, to see it become a legacy passed down through generations of families and become a part of these communities,” said Artistic Director Madeline Cantarella Culpo, who has helmed the production since its first debut in 1974.

Performance Dates:

November 29 (3PM & 7PM), 30 1PM) — Flynn Center, Burlington, VT

December 7 2:30PM & 6:30PM) 8 (1:30PM & 6:00PM) – Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield, MA

December 14 (1:30 & 5:30) & 15 (1:00PM) — The Egg, Albany, NY

December 21 1PM & 4:30PM — Symphony Hall

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