Misty Copeland on Ric Burns' New PBS Documentary, 'American Ballet Theatre: A History,' Premiering May 15 on THIRTEEN

By K. Young on May 06, 2015 08:23 PM EDT

On Friday, May 15 at 9:00 p.m. EST, THIRTEEN's American Masters Series on PBS will premiere Ric Burns' new documentary, American Ballet Theatre: A History.

THIRTEEN's own award-winning staff is joining forces with Emmy and Peabody-winner Ric Burns to create a new documentary about the American Ballet Theatre, in honor of the company's 75th anniversary.

Classicalites, you're in for a glorious look at ABT over the last three-quarters of a century.

In the documentary, Burns compiles intimate, never-before-seen rehearsal footage, spell-binding performances and rare interviews from the individuals responsible for the company's formation. Important artists crucial to the company's founding that Burns interviews include Alicia Alonso and the late Donald Saddler and Frederic Franklin. But Burns also interviews comtemporary beacons like Julie Kent and our own favorite soloist, Misty Copeland.

And should you want a more scholarly approach, the doc delves into the rich history of one of the world's most revered ballet companies, replete with analysis from dance historian and author Jennifer Homans, as well as prominent dance critics such as Anna Kisselgoff.

Burns' love and admiration for the company is undeniable. He says, "the story of American Ballet Theatre and the breathtaking rise of dance in the U.S. is one of the most inspiring stories in the cultural world." And his passion for both ballet and dance, in general, is unflappable: "Ballet is the most poignantly ephemeral and expressive of all the arts, both earthbound and transcendent. And ABT, indisputably one of the greatest dance companies in the world, has torn down an incredible number of barriers, welcoming choreographers of every kind and dancers from around the world."

In 2006, Burns was granted unprecedented access to the company and was able to put together hundreds of hours of original footage from rehearsals and performances all over the world. Throughout the documentary, Classicalites will be delighted to learn the history behind the formation of ABT via anecdotes and artifacts chronicling the rise of the company from a tiny, financially unstable group to its zenith as the one of the world's most best moving corps. According to American Masters executive producer, Michael Kantor, "Ric [Burns] has created an entertaining film that will touch and transform both seasoned aficionados and those who never have seen a ballet."

Have a look at the longer trailer, and do be sure to tune in May 15.

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TagsAmerican Ballet Theatre, American Masters Series, Ric Burns, Misty Copeland, THIRTEEN, PBS

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