Stella Abrera will be retiring from American Ballet Theatre at the end of the 2019-2020 season. A Principal Dancer with the company since 2015, she will dance the title role of Giselle on Saturday evening, June 13, 2020 at the Metropolitan Opera House.
*Update: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Stella Abrera did not dance this performance as scheduled. Instead, an online celebration was given in her honor.
Stella Abrera's Training
Born in Manila, Philippines, Abrera grew up in South Pasadena, California and began her ballet training with Philip and Charles Fuller and Cynthia Young at Le Studio in Pasadena. She continued her studies with Lorna Diamond and Patricia Hoffman at the West Coast Ballet Theatre in San Diego. For three years, she studied the Royal Academy of Dancing method with Joan and Monica Halliday at the Halliday Dance Centre in Sydney, Australia.
In 1995, Abrera received the Gold Medal at the Royal Academy of Dancing’s Adeline Genée Awards in London.
Stella Abrera's Professional Career
Abrera joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in 1996 and was promoted to Soloist in 2001. In August 2015, she was appointed Principal Dancer. Her extensive repertoire with ABT includes:
Abrera created the roles of His Memory and His Experiences in HereAfter, the Spanish Dance in Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker, the Fairy Violente (Temperament) in Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty, His Mistress in Weren’t We Fools, Princess Tea Flower in Whipped Cream and roles in After You, Garden Blue, Pretty Good Year and Seven Sonatas.
She has also performed as a Guest Principal with the Australian Ballet, The Washington Ballet, The Royal New Zealand Ballet and Ballet Philippines.
Stella Abrera's Other Projects
In 2014, Abrera founded the charity Steps Forward for the Philippines to benefit typhoon victims in the Philippine province of Guiuan. In April 2018, she directed and performed in a benefit gala at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater in Manila, Philippines to raise funds for the creation of the Stella Abrera Dance and Music Hall at the Center of Excellence in Public Elementary Education (CENTEX) in Batangas, Philippines. Abrera is the director of Pro-Studio/Stella Abrera®, a training and coaching initiative for professional dancers launched in 2019 at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park for Dance.