The American Ballet Theatre will be celebrating its 70th Anniversary Season with an Opening Night Gala on Monday, May 17, at the Metropolitan Opera House.  The special anniversary event starts at 6:30 pm with Mrs. Michelle Obama serving as Honorary Chairman, along with Caroline Kennedy and Blaine Trump. This year’s Spring Gala will honor David H. Koch for 25 years of service to ABT and its Board of Governing Trustees. 

   A special 70th Anniversary highlight program will feature American Ballet Theatre’s Principal Dancers in excerpts from Sir Frederick Ashton’s Birthday Offering, Swan Lake and Twyla Tharp’s The Brahms-Haydn Variations. The performance will include the Company Premieres of Ashton’s Tha├»s Pas de Deux and Awakening Pas de Deux, as well as a pas de deux from John Neumeier’s Lady of the Camellias. The evening will also feature the Spring Gala debut of ABT II, in the first movement of Edwaard Liang’s Ballo Per Sei. Set to music by Antonio Vivaldi, Ballo Per Sei was given its World Premiere at The Joyce Theater on April 13, 2010.

   The anniversary event will conclude with a Gala dinner under the Tent at Lincoln Center following the performance. Gala benefit tickets are priced at $1,500, $2,000 and $2,500 and include the performance and post-performance dinner. For Gala benefit ticket information only, call American Ballet Theatre’s Special Events office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3239.

   Performance-only tickets, priced $28 to $150, are available online, at the Metropolitan Opera House box office or by calling 212-362-6000. Visit the American Ballet Theatre website at www.abt.org for additional information.