Arts Network to Capture Footage of Eight-City Tour, Highlighting the Resilience of Artists and the Power of Dance to Bring Communities Together

Los Angeles, CA: Ovation TV, America’s only arts network, has signed on as an official media partner for American Ballet Theatre’s ABT Across America tour, set to begin on July 1, 2021. Ovation will also be producing video content exploring the background of ABT as well as the creation of the tour as a way to reach across the digital divide and restore the magic of the live performing arts.

Ovation will join the ABT Across America tour as ABT’s artists and staff travel cross country in a caravan of 6 sleeper buses and 3 production trucks.  The tour is an agile way of restoring live performances while harking back to ABT’s history of cross-country tours in the 1940s and 1950s. A film crew will follow 20 ABT dancers and 28 support crew as they travel across 14 states, performing outdoors in parks and plazas.  To support and celebrate the resilience of ABT during the pandemic, the arts network will produce short form content highlighting the preparation, planning, and effort involved in reaching Opening Nights in eight cities, including design and construction of the unique stage, “bubble-style” rehearsal residencies, and an array of logistics in the time of COVID-19.

Ovation’s film crew will also capture the local flavor of what makes each tour location unique and the various ways American Ballet Theatre engages communities post-pandemic. The videos will include profiles of dancers, choreographers, and crew members as they discuss the challenges and adventures of planning and mounting this one-of-a-kind experience.

After more than a year of virtual programs, American Ballet Theatre is staging a national tour, free to the public in most cities, utilizing a custom-built 40’ x 76’ stage that folds out of an 18-wheeler truck. Most 50-minute outdoor performances will be supplemented by family activities, fitness classes, and community engagement programs for local audiences. Cities include Lincoln (NE), Iowa City, Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Charleston, and Middleburg (VA). The tour will conclude on July 21 with a performance at Rockefeller Center in New York City, the site where Ballet Theatre offered its first public performances in 1940.

Arts workers and organizations have suffered enormously at the hands of the pandemic. The need for support is crucial, and Ovation TV, with their Stand For The Arts coalition, has made it their mission to stand up for the artists and organizations whose work is the lifeblood of their communities. American Ballet Theatre has survived the financial devastation of canceling all in-person programming for more than a year through digital innovation that has enlarged the Company’s fan and donor base.

“It is in the very DNA of Ovation as an arts network to support artistic expression and resilience, especially in the face of the coronavirus pandemic over the last year,” said Liz Janneman, EVP of Network Strategy, Ovation. “We applaud ABT on their commitment to bringing the art of ballet to the American people during a time when connectivity through art is needed more than ever. Ovation is honored to be a media sponsor of this powerful tour.”

“This summer, ABT will be the antidote to isolation. With ABT Across America, ABT’s artist-athletes will bring people together in the open air for shared experiences of joy and wonder. Our staff and artists have worked tirelessly to plan and launch ABT Across America. They refused to give up, even after the tour was pushed back twice as the pandemic evolved.  We are thrilled to be partnering with Ovation TV to help us engage the widest possible audience virtually, beyond the eight cities selected for this inaugural tour. We will meet audiences where they are this July, on their picnic blankets and on their screens.  We look forward to shattering assumptions and inspiring new fans and friends nationwide,” said Kara Medoff Barnett, Executive Director of American Ballet Theatre.

Promotional teaser spots will be broadcast on-air and extended footage will live on the Ovation NOW app. For more information, please visit ovationtv.com and www.abt.org/abt-across-america.

About OVATION TV America’s Only Arts Network
As an independent television, production, and digital media company, OVATION TV has an unparalleled commitment to the arts, culture, and captivating entertainment.  Showcasing a lineup of critically acclaimed premium dramas, specials, documentaries, and iconic films, OVATION TV salutes innovative storytelling with popular programming that includes Inside the Actors Studio, Murdoch Mysteries, Riviera, Frankie Drake Mysteries, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, The Fall, Luther, Midsomer Murders, Landscape Artist of the Year, Grand Designs, Amazing Hotels, Chasing the Sun, and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Ovation also powers JOURNY, the dedicated streaming service where art, culture, and travel intersect.  The company has provided more than $15M in contributions and in-kind support to arts institutions and arts education.  Its signature advocacy platform, STAND FOR THE ARTS, includes a coalition of over 130 arts organizations, cultural institutions, and arts leaders throughout the country raising awareness about art’s positive impact, protecting access for everyone, and encouraging action on behalf of the arts.  OVATION TV is available on major providers via cable, satellite and telco systems including Comcast Cable/Xfinity, DIRECTV, AT&T TV, SPECTRUM, Verizon FiOS, as well as on demand.  You can follow OVATION TV on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, OvationTV.com, and through our App, OVATION NOW.

American Ballet Theatre is one of the great dance companies in the world. Few ballet companies equal ABT for its combination of size, scope, and outreach.  Recognized as a living national treasure since its founding in 1940, ABT annually tours the United States, performing for more than 300,000 people, and is the only major cultural institution to do so.  For over 80 years, the Company has appeared in a total of 45 countries and has performed in all 50 states of the United States.  ABT has recently enjoyed triumphant successes with engagements in Paris, Singapore, and Hong Kong.  On April 27, 2006, by an act of Congress, American Ballet Theatre was designated America’s National Ballet Company®.  You can follow ABT at www.abt.org, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok.

For more information, please contact:
Nina Wheeler

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