American Ballet Theater to Return to Lincoln Center

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Another dance company is leaping over to Lincoln Center.

The American Ballet Theater said on Thursday that it has signed a three-year contract to perform at the David H. Koch Theater, ending the company's 15-year perch at New York City Center.

ABT’s contract with the Koch will start in October 2013 with a two-week season. The deal will not affect the company’s eight-week spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House, or its “Nutcracker” performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in December.

Since the financially-strapped New York City Opera left the Koch Theater in 2011 – which it shared with the New York City Ballet for more than 40 years – the theater's management has been aggressively marketing the stage to major dance companies. Renovated in 2008-10, the theater touts its expanded off-stage wings and orchestra pit. The Paul Taylor Dance company left City Center for the Koch this past spring.

"The Koch Theater is a wonderful venue for dance and its larger stage will broaden the scope of the repertory that we can perform,” said Rachel S. Moore, ABT's chief executive officer in a statement. “Our engagement is especially meaningful given ABT's history of memorable performances at the venue during the 1960's and '70's."  

ABT held regular performances at the venue, then the New York State Theater, from 1965 through 1976. The theater continues to be the headquarters of the New York City Ballet.

What do you think of the ABT's decision? Watch this video of the company's "Swan Lake" and share your comments below.