What Is the Difference Between New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre?


New York City Ballet (NYCB) and American Ballet Theatre (ABT) are two of the most well-known and respected ballet companies in the United States. Both companies have played a significant role in the development of American ballet over the past century, and continue to be a major force in the world of dance.

The two companies have a few notable differences. NYCB is based in New York City and is primarily focused on classical ballet, while ABT is based out of Washington, D.C., and has a wider range that includes both classical and contemporary works. NYCB also has an emphasis on Balanchine technique, which is named after its co-founder George Balanchine, whereas ABT does not adhere to any particular style.

In terms of repertoire, NYCB features works by George Balanchine as well as other choreographers such as Jerome Robbins and Christopher Wheeldon. They also have an impressive collection of new works from up-and-coming choreographers. ABT’s repertoire includes pieces from Marius Petipa, Agnes de Mille, Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky and others.

The dancers of both companies are highly trained professionals who dedicate their lives to perfecting the craft of ballet. The NYCB dancers are known for their precise technique and speed while ABT dancers specialize in dramatic expression and characterization. Both companies also feature guest artists from around the world.

In addition to their differences in location, style, repertoire and dancers, there are also some similarities between the two companies. Both organizations emphasize education through classes for students of all ages as well as outreach programs to bring ballet to underserved communities.


New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre are two renowned ballet companies that have shaped American dance for over a century. While there are differences between them such as location, repertoire and dancer training styles – they both prioritize education through classes for students and outreach programs alike.