Dance: Boom at the Box Office

When the box office opened for the American Ballet Theater's New York spring season, $52,000 worth of tickets were snapped up on the first day—a record for A.B.T.'s Manhattan home, the Metropolitan Opera House. The allure of Mikhail Baryshnikov's new Don Q certainly helped, and the presence of stars like Gelsey Kirkland in A.B.T.'s galaxy did no harm. But other U.S. dance companies are also enjoying a boom. Indeed by almost any measure, dance has become the fastest-growing of all the performing arts.

Audiences? Nationwide, annual attendance at all dance events (ballet, modern...

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