American Ballet Theatre: A History - Julie Kent on Beauty and Humanity

Julie Kent, principal dancer of American Ballet Theatre, joined the company in 1985 and will retire in 2015 after the company’s spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. In this film excerpt, Kent recalls a note she was given by the great ballerina Natalia (Natasha) Makarova before her debut in La Bayadère, which Makarova herself had re-staged after Marius Petipa. Makarova wrote to Kent, “Someone once said beauty can save the world. What a great responsibility you have on your shoulders.”

“That has resonated with me for all these years,” says Kent. “It’s not politicians, or scientists, or technology, but beauty and humanity —which is so clear in dance—is the closest that we can get to that salvation, I think.”