Artistic Associate – Bat Abbit
Bat Abbit’s professional dance career ranges from ballet to modern to musical theatre. He began his professional ballet career in the Music City with the Nashville Ballet. After several seasons, he moved to Charlotte, NC where he became a soloist with North Carolina Dance Theatre performing leading roles in works by Paul Taylor, David Parsons, Peter Pucci, and George Balanchine. After joining the American Repertory Ballet in 2000, his roles expanded from Soloist to Ballet Master to Company Manager and Rehearsal Director. He created the memorable role of Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and was the original creator of Fritz and the Nutcracker in Graham Lustig’s The Nutcracker.
In 2003, he joined the Artistic Staff of ARB as a Ballet Master where he maintained the works of Twyla Tharp as well as assisted choreographers such as Val Caniparoli, Amy Seiwert, and Graham Lustig in the creation of new works. As Rehearsal Director he restaged Graham Lustig’s Evening, and Cinderella for Singapore Dance Theatre, Cantata for the students of the University of Wyoming, and assisted in the staging of Salvatore Aiello’s Rite of Spring. Mr. Abbit’s performing career as taken him to the musical theatre stage where he performed in productions of Damn Yankees, South Pacific, and Music Man with featured roles in 42nd Street, as Billy Lawlor, and Fiddler on the Roof, as the Fiddler.
As a choreographer, Mr. Abbit has created works for American Repertory Ballet: Catch Me, Vertical Time (a site-specific work performed at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey) and co-choreographed Worlds End, Worlds Begin with Graham Lustig. The Carolina Ballet has produced and performed his original production/choreography of Coppelia, Bending Towards the Light and A Jazz Nativity. In Nashville, Tennessee, his pas de deux, Into the Light, won the Nashville Dance Project’s Choreographers’ Competition. Bat has created two ballets specifically for Education and Outreach young audiences based on the popular children’s stories: Jump, Frog, Jump! and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Bat is an accomplished dance instructor having served on faculty at the School of the Nashville Ballet, Vanderbilt University, Western Kentucky University, DancePlace-the official school of the North Carolina Dance Theatre, the Princeton Ballet School, and Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. He currently teaches the Boys and Men’s classes at lustigdancetheatre Dance and Wellness Studio.
Mr. Abbit holds a BFA from Western Kentucky University and is a Board Member of Artists Now, a Highland Park based arts advocacy group.