American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Season Kicks Off in NYC

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For balletomanes, the early spring months were devoted to seeing Jerome Robbins’ works on New York City Ballet’s stage in honor of the great choreographer’s centennial year. But as summer gets into high gear, the focus shifts across the Lincoln Center plaza to American Ballet Theatre and its own, very different but sumptuous spring season.

The exquisite company is always distinguished by its international roster of superstar dancers and glorious productions of classic story ballets, but it’s also a force in new choreography — particularly because of its artist-in-residence, Alexei Ratmansky, perhaps the most accomplished and inventive choreographer in ballet today.

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The last few weeks of ABT’s ongoing spring season showcase the best of ABT’s resources. First up, two ABT classics: Swan Lake and Don Quixote, the latter of which will kick off June 25 with a lead cast featuring some of ABT’s most charismatic dancers: the sparkling Isabella Boylston and Daniil Simkin, elegant Devon Teuscher and magnetic rising star Calvin Royal III. Then comes one of the most delightful new productions in recent memory to close the season: Ratmansky’s Whipped Cream, with a score by Richard Strauss and fantastical sets and costumes by Mark Ryden.

Eight performances start on July 2; be sure to catch Stella Abrera, one of the company’s most mature and versatile principals, who shows a knack for balancing sweetness with slapstick humor in the ballet as Princess Tea Flower, and both Royal and Thomas Forster making local debuts as Prince Coffee.

Metropolitan Opera House; through July 7.