Dance: Stars in Search of a Heaven

For 30 years the American Ballet Theatre has led two contrasting lives. In one, it basks in a measure of critical acclaim shared by few dance troupes anywhere. In the other, it is constantly shadowed by the threat of bankruptcy. Last week the company ended its anniversary season with a four-week engagement at Manhattan's New York State Theater that broke all box-office records in U.S. ballet history. But even as the final curtain rang down, accompanied by the now familiar sound of bravos, ABT faced a most uncertain future.

The main problem is the...

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