Ballet Is Back, Baby

Before they finally hit the road for a national tour, the dancers from American Ballet Theatre pay tribute to their N.Y.C. home.
Jun 09, 2021 @ 7:45 am
ABT American Ballet Theatre
From left: João Menegussi in a Mônot skirt, Spanx shorts and Dolce & Gabbana sneakers. Anabel Katsnelson in a Commando bodysuit, JW Anderson trousers and Tory Burch flats. Emily Hayes in a JW Anderson tunic, Mônot top, Spanx shorts, Commando tights, Humans Before Handles headband and Khaite flats. Betsy McBride in a Khaite dress and Fabrizio Viti flats. | Credit: AB+DM

With their 2021 season at New York's famed Metropolitan Opera House canceled this summer, the dancers of ABT were all too happy to conduct a recent impromptu performance in high-fashion finery in downtown Manhattan. A handful of these dancers will also be hopping on a bus and hitting the road starting July 1 for an eight-city tour that kicks off in Lincoln, Neb., and ends at N.Y.C.'s Rockefeller Center on July 21. The open-air ballets are a celebration of the arts and will be free to the public. Until the dancers can return to the theater, just being in the presence of an admiring audience is fortifying. "I think when we're back onstage, there's going to be a feeling of relief and also extreme appreciation," says James Whiteside, who also has a book of essays called Center Center: A Funny, Sexy, Sad Almost-Memoir of a Boy in Ballet out in August. "It's going to be a big exchange of love."

The Dancers

Isabella Boylston, ABT Principal Dancer
Emily Hayes, ABT corps de ballet
Anabel Katsnelson, ABT corps de ballet
Melvin Lawovi, ABT Apprentice
Betsy McBride, ABT corps de ballet
João Menegussi, ABT corps de ballet
Yoon Jung Seo, ABT Studio Company
James Whiteside, ABT Principal Dancer

ABT American Ballet Theatre
Betsy McBride in a St. John sweater and skirt and Tory Burch sneakers. João Menegussi in a Collina Strada bodysuit, gloves, and socks and Tory Burch sneakers.
| Credit: AB+DM
ABT American Ballet Theatre
James Whiteside in a Thom Browne skirt.
| Credit: AB+DM
ABT American Ballet Theatre
Clockwise from top left: João Menegussi in a Fendi shirt, Gucci tights and a CJW scarf (as a headband). Betsy McBride in a Givenchy jacket and top, Fendi shorts and Margaux flats. Emily Hayes in a Fendi jacket and Chanel top and leggings. Anabel Katsnelson in an Alexander McQueen dress; earrings, her own.
| Credit: AB+DM
ABT American Ballet Theatre
James Whiteside in a Gucci blazer, shirt, and pants and John Lobb loafers.
| Credit: AB+DM
ABT American Ballet Theatre
Melvin Lawovi in an Emilio Pucci top and leggings, Versace bracelet and Tory Burch flats. Yoon Jung Seo in a Dolce & Gabbana dress, Humans Before Handles headband and Brother Vellies shoes.
| Credit: AB+DM
ABT American Ballet Theatre
Isabella Boylston in a Mônot dress.
| Credit: AB+DM
ABT American Ballet Theatre
Clockwise from far left: Yoon Jung Seo in an Area blazer, Commando bodysuit and Versace boots. Melvin Lawovi in an Alexander McQueen top, trousers and belt and Brother Vellies loafers. Isabella Boylston in a Moschino Couture dress and Lelet NY hair cuff. James Whiteside in a Salvatore Ferragamo catsuit and Roger Vivier loafers. | Credit: AB+DM
ABT American Ballet Theatre
Melvin Lawovi in a Gucci jacket, shirt, and pants and Dolce & Gabbana loafers.
| Credit: AB+DM

Photographs by AB+DM/The Only Agency. Styling by Julia von Boehm. Choreography by James Whiteside. Hair by Shin Arima/Home Agency. Makeup by Frankie Boyd/Streeters.

For more stories like this, pick up the July 2021 issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download June 18th.