In the Studio: Gillian Murphy and Stella Abrera’s 20th Anniversary Season

[music] My name is Stella Abrera. I’m a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and I’m proud to say I’m celebrating my 20th anniversary with the company. My name is Gillian Murphy. I’m a principal dancer and This is my twentieth anniversary season with American Ballet Theatre Well, Stella, and I first met at the Prix de Lausanne, international ballet competition in Switzerland, and we were the two Americans that made it to the final rounds. We got to know each other then when I was 15 years old and When I joined the company when I was seventeen we became closer friends We’ve grown so close over the years we’ve both been each other’s Maid of Honors at our weddings. Both of our husbands were in the company together So I’m married to Sascha Radetzky and Gillian is married to Ethan Stiefel We kind of were four peas in a pod, and so to share this momentous occasion and have it happen at the same time is absolutely wonderful Stella Abrera is someone that I have looked up to since I joined the company, she is incredibly diligent and disciplined. Stella has such great intuition. She knows exactly what she’s doing artistically and her voice is so well formed, and it’s just such a beautiful thing to see such like a well-rounded artist I feel like this season has so many iconic Gillian moments. You know you’ve got La Fille Mal Gardee which is such a summary of her her joyous nature her great sense of humor, and I don’t know she’s just a wild woman in a way I chose to dance this role for my 20th anniversary because it’s kind of a side of me I don’t get to explore so much in my repertoire. Yes Gillian emerged early on as very proficient in Ashton’s work. Ashton is nothing if it’s not attached to the music and Gillian is probably one of the most musical dancers I’ve ever met and you just can’t help but love her. Gillian is very deeply loved in this company and I think that’s why in that particular role when Ashton’s genius has revealed to an entire audience why you should love her it’s only fitting that we celebrate her on her 20th year in this role There are so many emotions that flooded through me when I was promoted to principal dancer. It’s a huge honor Sleeping Beauty is very symbolic. I think it’s just terrific that the timing has worked that Stella will be celebrated on her 20th in this particular role Because the truth is she comes to it late. She’s waited a long time for this for her figurative prince to arrive and give her the kiss and to be out there front and center as the ballerina representing this great, great classic, it mirrors the story. There is justice in this world.

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