Before & After: American Ballet Theatre's Dancers' Lounge Goes From Shabby to Stunning

Before & After: American Ballet Theatre's Dancers' Lounge Goes From Shabby to Stunning

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Tara Bellucci
Jun 7, 2017

If you had to guess what the dancers' lounge at the American Ballet Theatre looked like, it's highly unlikely you'd say, a generic college dorm rec room. But this "shabby" space was indeed where some of the world's best ballet dancers relaxed between classes, practices, and performances. That is, until Architectural Digest, interior designer Dan Fink and some generous patrons stepped in.

(Image credit: Gabrielle Pilotti Langdon/Architectural Digest)

The "forlorn space outfitted with shabby futons and fluorescent lighting" was, according to executive director Kara Medoff Barnett, "reflective of the ABT mentality, 'Put every dollar on the stage.'"

(Image credit: Gabrielle Pilotti Langdon/Architectural Digest)

"It was hard to believe this was the only place for the world's best dancers to put their feet up," says Fink of the lounge's original condition. "Still, there was something beautiful in the fact that for so many years that's how it was and the dancers kept dancing. It's a testament to their dedication and humility."

With the help of an anonymous patron who donated construction costs, and furnishings and fixtures in the form of in kind donations from various companies, Fink transformed the space into a luxe lounge that fit the dancers' one request: Make it white and clean.

(Image credit: Gabrielle Pilotti Langdon/Architectural Digest)

In addition to all new paint and furnishings, the space also got a window into the rehearsal room next door, to let in more light and give donors a behind the scenes view into ABT during fundraising events.

(Image credit: Henry Leutwyler/Architectural Digest)

So how do the dancers like their new space? "This is where we bond," says principal dancer Misty Copeland. "So it's nice to feel that people care about where we are."

"This space says that a company that values elegance and artistry can have a home that inspires even greater elegance and artistry," Barnett says. "People are still pinching themselves."

See the full transformation with sources over on Architectural Digest.

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