There will be dancing in the streets and tutus in the windows on Madison Avenue in September.
“American Ballet Theatre on Madison Avenue” will be presented by the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District and the classical ballet company from Sept. 20 to 27, to benefit the American Ballet Theater’s Costume Fund and spur shopper traffic on the city’s most luxurious shopping avenue.
Retailers up and down the street will fill their windows and set up in-store exhibits with ballet costumes and memorabilia from ABT’s archive covering ABT’s 78-year history of performing in New York. Costumes from classic ballets like “Swan Lake” as well as those from new works will be displayed.
“This really is a way to engage the neighborhood and a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with one of the nation’s great cultural institutions,” Matthew Bauer, president of the Madison Avenue BID, told WWD.
For several years, the BID, which covers a stretch from 57th to 86th Streets along Madison Avenue, has staged events appealing to a wide range of interests, whether it’s “watch week” for horologists or “one-of-a-kind” week for those with a hankering for the more rarefied or bespoke fashion item. The BID also stirs up the neighborhood with Chinese dragon dancing and drum beating for the Lunar New Year, but it’s not easy to devise events or celebrations that seem fresh and fun and draw crowds. With ABT, the BID got lucky. “The American Ballet Theater has very energetic supporters. One of them reached out to us and asked if we would like to work together,” said Bauer.
As with BID events of the past, a long list of retailers will participate in the ABT celebration including Akris, Alexis Bittar, Alice + Olivia, Brunello Cucinelli, De Beers, Emilio Pucci, Etro, Frette, Jimmy Choo, Lalique, Morgenthal Frederics and Paul Morelli.
On “opening night” Sept. 20, ABT dancers will mingle with patrons and shoppers. And on Sept. 22, there will be a free ballet workshop for children ages four to 12 led by teaching artists from ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. The workshop will be held between 10:30 a.m. and noon on Madison Avenue between 63rd and 64th Streets.