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Onstage This Week: "Hamilton" Choreographer's Ballet Debut, Ballet West's Choreographic Fest, Australian Ballet in NYC, and More!

Scottish Ballet in Sophie Laplane's Sibilo, which will have its US Premiere at Ballet West's choreographic festival this week. Jane Hobson, Courtesy Ballet West.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've pulled together some highlights.


"Hamilton" Choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler Makes His Ballet Debut in Tulsa

As a three-time Tony Award winner for Best Choreography, Andy Blankenbuehler has certainly made a name for himself on the Broadway stage. This spring, the acclaimed Hamilton choreographer is taking his talents to Tulsa Ballet, where he's creating his first-ever work for a ballet company. The piece tells the story of sailors on a submarine, daydreaming of their loved ones back home. It's set to a patchwork score, including works by Regina Spektor and the Benny Goodman Orchestra, with voices and sound effects overlaid. The world premiere joins Jerome Robbins' Fancy Free and George Balanchine's Who Cares? on a program blending the line between ballet and Broadway, running May 9–12.

Ballet West's Choreographic Festival Presents Scottish Ballet

Ballet West's third annual Choreographic Festival, running May 9–11, is welcoming international guests for the first time. Scottish Ballet will head to Salt Lake City to perform choreographer-in-residence Sophie Laplane's 2016 Sibilo, which explores whistling in connection with human emotion. Also on the program are four works danced by Ballet West: a world premiere by BalletMet artistic director Edwaard Liang, and pieces by BW company dancers Emily Adams, Katlyn Addison and Trevor Naumann.

A Visit From Down Under

The Australian Ballet heads to New York City May 9–12 as part of The Joyce Theater's Australia Festival. For its Joyce debut, the company is featuring 12 dancers in contemporary works by three of its homegrown resident choreographers. The program includes Alice Topp's Aurum, Stephen Baynes' Unspoken Dialogues and a world premiere by Tim Harbour.

Pennsylvania Ballet Closes Its Season With a World Premiere by Jorma Elo

Pennsylvania Ballet's closes out its season with a triple bill running May 9-12. A world premiere by Jorma Elo titled Trigger Touch Fade joins Christopher Wheeldon's DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse and the company premiere of Jerome Robbins' Glass Pieces. Elo's new work is set to excerpts from four violin concertos: one by Joseph Haydn and three by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Atlanta Ballet Director's Choice Program Includes World Premiere by Liam Scarlett

Atlanta Ballet's Director's Choice program, running May 10-12, showcases three contemporary works: Gemma Bond's Denouement, the company premiere of Kiyon Ross's Sum Stravinsky and a world premiere by Liam Scarlett titled Catch, set to Philip Glass' Violin Concerto No. 1. This commission follows the success of his Vespertine, which Atlanta Ballet presented in 2017. Catch a short glimpse above.

Kansas City Ballet Pairs Tharp and Forsythe with a David Parsons World Premiere

Kansas City Ballet's May 10-19 Tharp/Parsons/Forsythe is a celebration of three American contemporary choreographers. This high-energy program includes Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room, William Forsythe's In the middle, somewhat elevated and the world premiere of David Parsons' A Play for Love. Parsons, a Kansas City native, has based his new work on some of Shakespeare's best-loved comedic characters.

Ballet Fantastique's Debuts Its New "Cleopatra"

May 9-12 marks the debut of Ballet Fantastique's Cleopatra. This new, full-length ballet is choreographed and produced by mother/daughter team Donna and Hannah Bontrager. This historic tale of romance and politics will be paired with original electronic music by Sidecar Tommy and Eonor Wildeboar from Beats Antique, played live.

MorDance Reimagines "Romeo and Juliet"

New York-based company MorDance presents its first full-length story ballet, R+J Reimagined May 9-11. Choreographed by artistic director Morgan McEwen, this work for 11 dancers and six musicians features a score by Ben Gallina, who mixes Sergei Prokofiev's original with his own compositions. To create her version, McEwen dug into the history behind Shakespeare's original play.

Kirk Peterson Choreographs a New "Beauty and the Beast" for American Repertory Ballet

May 10 marks the world premiere of choreographer Kirk Peterson's Beauty and the Beast for New Jersey-based company American Repertory Ballet. Set to music by Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Peterson's take on this magical tale is a good fit for audiences of all ages. Above, see the making of the ballet's original costumes.

San Francisco Ballet Presents Ratmansky's "Shostakovich Trilogy"

For San Francisco Ballet's eighth program of its season, the company celebrates choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. SFB presents his Shostakovich Trilogy May 7-12. This piece, a co-commission with American Ballet Theatre, is made up of three separate ballets: Symphony #9, Chamber Symphony and Piano Concerto #1, all set to Dmitri Shostakovich's orchestral works.

Ballet Memphis Brings Back Three Audience Favorites

This weekend, Ballet Memphis turns the viewing experience on its head with an audience-curated program. Rewind, running May 10-11, features three favorites from the past year, based on a vote by audience members. Trey McIntyre's Memphis Suite, Julia Adam's Devil's Fruit and Steven McMahon's Flyway will all be reprised.

4 Story Ballets Take the Stage

  • May 10-June 8, Boston Ballet brings back Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella
  • Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre presents Marius Petipa's The Sleeping Beauty, staged by Terrence Orr, May 10-12
  • The romantic classic Giselle returns to Ballet Austin May 10-12
  • Swan Lake, billed as an "iconic story of love and deception," hits Festival Ballet Providence's stages May 10-12

The Conversation
Ballet Stars
American Ballet Theatre corps member José Sebastian (center) is launching the Hamptons Dance Project with a cast of fellow ABT dancers this August. Rochelle Brodin, Courtesy Hamptons Dance Project.

From coast to coast, and on the shores of Lake Michigan in-between, professional dancers and choreographers are going one step beyond putting together a summer pickup company. Some are now curating multi-evening festivals in their hometowns and beloved vacation areas, and featuring an impressive range of companies, dancers and dance styles. So get ready to plan your next trip—here are three dance fests in beautiful resort areas to keep on your radar.

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The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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Behind-the-scenes shot of NYCB dancers on set. David Alberda, Courtesy Emily Kikta and Peter Walker.

Tonight, New York City Ballet opens its 53 annual summer season at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. But if you're away at a summer intensive or busy rehearsing at your home studio and can't make it to a performance, we have the next best thing: seven new site specific videos made by and featuring NYCB dancers.

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Sasha De Sola and Carlo Di Lanno in The Sleeping Beauty. Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB.

The first time I saw Sleeping Beauty was on video, the Kirov version with Larissa Lezhnina. The music for the first entrance gave me butter- flies. Aurora comes out, and it captured my heart. Larissa coached me for my first sea- son of Aurora, and just the fact that we were sharing the same studio—I couldn't get over it. One of the things she encouraged me to explore is after Aurora faints: You get back up, you look up at your parents and re- center yourself. For me, what feels natural is that you don't want anyone to worry. Maybe there is a moment where you get a little embarrassed. It's those small moments that make it feel very personal to me.

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