[Congressional Record Volume 152, Number 60 (Tuesday, May 16, 2006)]
[House]
[Pages H2610-H2611]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]




 RECOGNIZING CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS OF AMERICAN BALLET 
                                THEATRE

  Mr. KUHL of New York. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
agree to the resolution (H. Res 751) recognizing the cultural and 
educational contributions of American Ballet Theatre throughout its 65 
years of service as ``America's National Ballet Company''.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                              H. Res. 751

       Whereas American Ballet Theatre (ABT) is recognized as one 
     of the world's great dance companies;
       Whereas ABT is dedicated to bringing dance to America and 
     American dance to the world;
       Whereas over its 65-year history, ABT has appeared in all 
     50 States of the United States, in a total of 126 cities, and 
     has performed for more than 600,000 people annually;
       Whereas ABT has performed in 42 countries as perhaps the 
     most representative American ballet company, with many of 
     those engagements sponsored by the Department of State;
       Whereas ABT has been home to the world's most accomplished 
     dancers and has commissioned works by all of the great 
     choreographic geniuses of the 20th century;
       Whereas Dwight D. Eisenhower recognized ABT's ability to 
     convey through the medium of ballet ``some measure of 
     understanding of America's cultural environment and 
     inspiration'';
       Whereas over the years ABT has performed repeatedly at the 
     White House, most recently in December 2005;
       Whereas ABT is committed to bringing dance to a broad 
     audience and provides exposure to dance to more than 20,000 
     underprivileged children and their families each year;
       Whereas ABT's award-winning Make a Ballet program and its 
     other outreach initiatives help to meet the need for arts 
     education in underserved schools and communities;
       Whereas ABT's Studio Company brings world class ballet to 
     smaller communities like Rochester, New York; Stamford, 
     Connecticut; Sanibel, Florida; South Hadley, Massachusetts; 
     and Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and
       Whereas The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at ABT and 
     the ABT's other artistic development initiatives provide the 
     highest quality training consistent with the professional 
     standards of ABT: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
       (1) recognizes and commends American Ballet Theatre for 
     over 65 years of service as ``America's National Ballet 
     Company'', during which it has provided world class art to 
     citizens in all 50 States;
       (2) recognizes that American Ballet Theatre also serves as 
     a true cultural ambassador for our Nation, by having 
     performed in 42 countries and fulfilling its reputation as 
     one of the world's most revered and innovative dance 
     companies; and
       (3) recognizes that American Ballet Theatre's extensive and 
     innovative education, outreach, and artistic development 
     programs both train future generations of great dancers and 
     expose students to the arts.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Kuhl) and the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Kind) each will 
control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.


                             General Leave

  Mr. KUHL of New York. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their 
remarks and include extraneous information on H. Res. 751.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from New York?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. KUHL of New York. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Madam Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in support of House 
Resolution 751, recognizing the cultural and educational contributions 
of American Ballet Theatre throughout its 65 years of service as 
``America's National Ballet Company.''

[[Page H2611]]

  When the American Ballet Theatre began, it inspired to develop a 
repertoire of the best ballets from the past, and to encourage the 
creation of new works by gifted young choreographers, whenever they 
might be found. Since then it has continued to be dedicated to bringing 
dance to America and American dance to the world.
  I would say it has succeeded. Today the American Ballet Theatre is 
recognized as one of the great dance companies of the world, and 
throughout its 65-year history, the American Ballet Theatre has 
appeared in 50 U.S. States, in a total of 126 cities around the world, 
and has performed for more than 600,000 people annually.
  America's National Ballet Company has also made 15 international 
tours to 42 countries, and has been sponsored by the U.S. Department of 
State on many of these engagements.
  It was also the first American company to dance in the Soviet Union. 
Additionally the theatre has commissioned works by all of the great 
choreographic geniuses of the 20th century and many of the world's most 
accomplished dancers, including Mikhail Baryshnikov, have called the 
American Ballet Theatre home.
  Lastly, Madam Speaker, I would like to emphasize the many enrichment 
programs the American Ballet Theatre offers for families, for training 
young and future dancers, and for the public and private schools.
  I would specifically like to point out the work that the American 
Ballet Theatre has done to expose more than 20,000 underprivileged 
families and children in the fine art of dance, as well as introducing 
such children to career opportunities in the arts, both on stage and 
back stage, while also helping students develop valuable life skills.
  Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague and fellow New Yorker, 
Mrs. Maloney, for introducing this resolution. I am happy to join my 
colleagues in recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of 
America's National Ballet Company, the American Ballet Theatre, and ask 
my colleagues to support this resolution.
  Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. KIND. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  (Mr. KIND asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. KIND. Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of House Resolution 
751, recognizing the cultural and educational contributions of the 
American Ballet Theatre throughout its 65 years of service as America's 
National Ballet Company.
  Madam Speaker, I also want to applaud Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney 
for her leadership in sponsoring this resolution. Unfortunately, due to 
illness, it prevents her from being here on the House floor today to 
speak about it.
  Madam Speaker, H. Res. 751 recognizes the anniversary of one of the 
finest and most distinguished ballet companies in the world, the 
American Ballet Theatre. The ABT is recognized as a living national 
treasure. Using dance as its medium, the American Ballet Theatre has 
brought joy to audiences here and abroad for over 40 years.
  Equally important to the ABT has been its educational programs. Not 
only have they trained world class ballerinas, but ABT brings its art 
into the classroom by sponsoring dance programs in public schools 
across the country.
  The Young People's Ballet Workshop offers students who would not 
ordinarily have the opportunity to experience the ballet to see the 
company perform and learn about the art of ballet. Again, I join my 
colleagues here today, and especially Congresswoman Maloney, in 
supporting this resolution and congratulate the American Ballet Theatre 
on its 65th anniversary.
  Mr. REYNOLDS. Madam Speaker. I rise today in support of H. Res. 751 
to honor the American Ballet Theatre. For 65 years, the theatre has 
entertained and educated thousands, becoming a national cultural icon 
as ``America's National Ballet Company.''
  The American Ballet Theatre has performed in all 50 states inspiring 
and thrilling Americans with their skilled artistry. The company has 
also served as America's cultural ambassador by bringing American dance 
to more than 42 countries, often as representatives of the State 
Department.
  Yet beyond being one of the world's truly great ballet companies, the 
American Ballet Theatre has also excelled off the stage in its 
remarkable education efforts, Throughout its history, the company has 
brought classical dance to communities not typically able to experience 
world-class ballet and to students throughout the country. The theater 
has created some of the most innovative educational programs dealing 
with the arts, including the Make a Ballet program, empowering at-risk 
students by giving them the resources and confidence to produce and 
stage their very own ballet.
  In my community, the American Ballet Theatre has also been a giving 
and vital artistic institution, providing Rochester-area residents rare 
performances and indispensable educational opportunities. In 2004, the 
company presented an extraordinary internationally-themed program at 
New Auditorium Theatre in Rochester, giving audience members the unique 
chance to see up close famed performers and dance styles from 
throughout the world. The American Ballet Theatre also offered a 
class--taught by the former theater dancer and artistic director John 
Meehan--giving local dance students the opportunity to learn and 
perform alongside up-and-coming ABT dancers.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H. Res. 
751 to celebrate and honor an important cultural icon of America, the 
American Ballet Theatre.
  Mrs. MALONEY. Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of H. Res. 751, 
recognizing the cultural and educational contributions of American 
Ballet Theatre.
  For 65 years American Ballet Theatre has educated and inspired us 
through their artistry and commitment to bringing dance to America and 
American dance to the world.
  While ABT is truly a national company and has performed for countless 
people in all 50 states and 42 countries, I want to speak today about 
the special relationship between American Ballet Theatre and the city 
of New York.
  In my district we have been the beneficiaries of six decades of 
American Ballet Theatre's world-class art. Next week, ABT will open 
their annual engagement at the Metropolitan Opera House, performing 
their renowned mix of great ballet classics and challenging new works.
  These performances are a primary reason that American Ballet Theatre 
is universally regarded as one of the world's great ballet companies. 
From the scale of the productions to the artistry of the dancers, ABT's 
performances are truly something to behold and I encourage my 
colleagues to see one of their engagements at the Kennedy Center, in 
New York City, or in your home state.
  ABT's importance to my city transcends these annual performances at 
the Met, however. Every year the company performs a second series at 
smaller venues in New York, allowing ballet fans the unique opportunity 
to watch many of the world's greatest dancers in an intimate setting 
and enhancing New York's status as one of the world's cultural 
capitals.
  Beyond their performances, American Ballet Theatre's educational 
mission and their focus on bringing ballet and the classic arts to 
audiences that otherwise would not have access is truly special. For 
over 10 years, ABT has offered extensive outreach and in-school arts 
programming in public schools, completely free of charge. ABT focuses 
its efforts in underserved communities and ``at-risk'' schools in New 
York, bringing the arts to schools that suffer from budgetary cuts to 
arts programming, and they reach over 20,000 New York students each 
year. During the 2006 spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House, 
ABT will distribute 10,000 complimentary tickets to New York students 
who would not otherwise have access to ABT's incredible artistic 
resources.
  American Ballet Theatre truly is an American treasure, and should be 
recognized for enriching the cultural landscape of New York and our 
country. I want to thank my cosponsors and the leadership of both 
parties for bringing this resolution to the floor. And again, I 
encourage all of my colleagues to experience the talent and artistry of 
American Ballet Theatre.
  Mr. KIND. Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. KUHL of New York. Madam Speaker, I have no further requests for 
time, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Kuhl) that the House suspend the rules and 
agree to the resolution, H. Res. 751.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds having voted in favor 
thereof) the rules were suspended and the resolution was agreed to.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.




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