Friday, October 3, 2014

American Ballet Theatre's April Giangeruso - My Time With ABT

Hello, Chicago! My name is April Giangeruso and I am a Corps de Ballet dancer with American Ballet Theatre. This upcoming tour will be my third time performing with ABT at the gorgeous Auditorium Theatre. My first time dancing here was in 2010 in Swan Lake, and subsequently in 2012 in Giselle. During the 2010 tour I was a very new 3-month member of ABT, and I remember being so excited to perform my favorite ballet for the first time. It was a surreal experience realizing that I was once a baby ballerina aspiring to one day be in ABT’s Swan Lake, and now it was really happening. I will always have a soft spot for that particular tour. 

One of the best parts of being a dancer with ABT is our touring schedule. Not only do we live and rehearse in one of the most exciting cities in the world, but we also get to see the rest of it doing what we love. Every corner of the world has a special character and unique culture, which always bestow priceless memories on each of us dancers. In August, ABT had its first ever tour to Australia! It was a privilege and an honor to be a part of a historic tour for the company during our 75th Anniversary Season, not to mention getting to hold a koala and pet kangaroos. Above all, the ABT family is truly special. Getting to visit all of these beautiful places, with the best people is something I could never replace. There may be societal notions that dance is sometimes competitive and hostile, but I can truly say that ABT is both a supportive and loving environment.

My career thus far at ABT has been nothing short of a dream come true. Born in Maryland, I attended ABT’s 
Swan Lake when I was 5 years old and told my mom I wanted to be a ballerina. Even at a very young age, teachers practically had to drag me out of the studio when class was finished. I just didn’t want to leave! I moved to NYC, shortly thereafter joined the JKO School at ABT, then ABT II, the former junior company, and after two years joined ABT in 2010. I have worked extremely hard in my 4 years with the company, always wanting to perform more roles that I feel will challenge me, make me improve, and show my capabilities as a dancer.

In the Saturday matinee at 2PM and Sunday matinee at 3PM, I will have the privilege of performing one of the Principal couples in Twyla Tharp’s Bach Partita. This is my first Principal role with the company, which is so exciting to me and my family who will be attending the performances. Tharp’s choreography is a full mind and body experience, the process has been so rewarding and getting to work so closely with Susan Jones, ballet mistress at ABT, is invaluable to my growth as a ballerina. 

I hope that my career with ABT will be a long and great one; I have never even imagined dancing anywhere else. 890 Broadway is where I feel my home really is, we may need a few fresh coats of paint on the walls, but even so, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else Tuesday-Saturday 10am-7pm. Simply put, ballet is what I wake up for, what I think about, and what makes me the person I am. At 23 years old, I can only hope that the next 23 years will be just as thrilling, hopefully still with ABT, and inspiring the next generation of dancers as this generation has inspired me. 

April performs with American Ballet Theatre during their run at the Auditorium, October 3 – 5.

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