When American Ballet Theatre Studio Company (ABT) visits St. Louis with a production at COCA (an A&E grantee) this weekend, it will be the culmination of a multi-faceted collaboration. 

The company’s visit to St. Louis includes a residency program and community outreach with Project Plié, ABT’s initiative to increase racial and ethnic representation in ballet and diversify America’s ballet companies.

Project Plié has been championed by famed ABT ballet dancer Misty Copeland. Copeland, who is arguably the country's prima ballerina, cites learning ballet at a Boys & Girls Club as what set her on her career path. 

While Copeland was not in town for the program, Richard Toda, ABT Artistic Coordinator of Educational Outreach, taught master classes at three COCA partner schools in the St. Louis Public Schools Disctrict and several sites of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater St. Louis.  

The collaboration between COCA and ABT continued with a master class led by ABT artistic directors at Washington Unviersity in St. Louis. The class included students from COCA.

ABT's production at COCA is March 15-17. Tickets are 2-for-1 for ARTS Card members. Don't have an ARTS Card? Get one here.