Stella Abrera, a former principal dancer with American Ballet Theater, has been named appearing creative director of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, the firm introduced on Thursday. Abrera will oversee all creative facets of the faculty’s youngsters’s division, pre-professional division and nationwide coaching curriculum.
Ballet Theater, Abrera stated in a cellphone interview, “is like a big gorgeous redwood or oak tree. I now have the opportunity to be part of the team that will nourish the roots, and help it grow larger and more beautiful. I have such deep respect for the company’s lineage and I’m so excited to share that with young artists.”
The Onassis School, based in 2004, has been directed by Cynthia Harvey, one other Ballet Theater alumna, since 2016. Abrera stated that she was ready till she began the place to formulate particular plans, however that she hoped to comply with Harvey’s instance. “She has tiny feet but those are huge shoes to fill,” Abrera stated.
Abrera, 44, who was born in Manila, grew up in South Pasadena, Calif. She joined Ballet Theater as a member of the corps de ballet in 1996 and was promoted to soloist in 2001. In 2015, Abrera was promoted to principal on the similar day that Misty Copeland was, changing into the firm’s first Filipino American principal. She retired from performing in 2020. Since June of that yr, she has been the creative director of Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in Tivoli, N.Y., establishing an annual outside dance competition there.
A Ballet Theater spokeswoman stated Abrera was employed for a one-year appearing place due to the changeover in Ballet Theater’s creative administrators — from Kevin McKenzie, who supplied Abrera the place, to Susan Jaffe, who will take over at the finish of this yr. (The firm has additionally lately appointed a new chief government, Janet Rollé.)
At Kaatsbaan, Sonja Kostich, who turned chief government and creative officer in 2018, will keep on in that function. No alternative for Abrera has but been introduced.
Speaking from exterior a studio on Kaatsbaan’s idyllic grounds, watching a rehearsal of a venture she helped put collectively, Abrera stated that her feelings had been “mixed” and that it felt a little bittersweet to depart. After the Kaatsbaan competition closes on June 19, she’ll be instructing in a two-month intensive ballet program. Then she could have at some point off, Aug. 21, earlier than she begins her new job.