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Onstage This Week: 15th Annual Fall for Dance Festival, Nevada Ballet Theatre Collaborates with Cirque du Soleil, Wendy Whelan in World Premiere, and More!

Los Angeles Ballet's Tigran Sargsyan and Petra Conti. LAB opens their fall season this week with a mixed bill including two company premieres. Photo by Reed Hutchinson, Courtesy LAB.

Fall for Dance FestivalWonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've pulled together some highlights.


Fall for Dance Festival Includes Three Ballet World Premieres 

2018 marks the 15th anniversary of New York City Center's Fall for Dance Festival, a major event for dance lovers. All Fall for Dance tickets are $15, making world-class dance accessible to audiences from all backgrounds. Running October 1-13, the four Fall for Dance programs include a veritable smorgasbord of dance genres. Ballet highlights include world premiere commissions from Gemma Bond, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Justin Peck, and performances by Boston Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Gemma Bond Dance, Herman Cornejo & Alina Cojocaru, Justin Peck & Patricia Delgado, National Ballet of China, Sara Mearns, and Tiler Peck with Lil Buck.

Nevada Ballet Theatre Collaborates with Cirque du Soleil 

Nevada Ballet Theatre brings back their annual collaboration with the Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group October 7 and 13-14. The showcase of new choreography is titled Art from Art, and features original creations by 14 choreographers from NBT, Cirque du Soleil and, for the first time ever, Blue Man Group, performed by over 60 artists. Choreographers from NBT include dancers Krista Baker, Steven Goforth, Jaime DeRocker, Caroline Atwell and Caroline MacDonald. For a sneak peek, check out the high-energy trailer above.

Wendy Whelan Dances in Troy Schumacher World Premiere at Hudson Valley Dance Festival

On October 6, dancers from the ballet, modern and musical theater worlds gather in Catskill, NY for the Hudson Valley Dance Festival, a benefit performance organized by Dancers Responding to AIDS. This year's program features beloved ballerina Wendy Whelan's return to the stage in a world premiere by BalletCollective artistic director and New York City Ballet soloist Troy Schumacher. Also on the bill are dancers from The Washington Ballet in a pas de deux from Marcelo Gomes' The Outset.

Los Angeles Ballet's Season Opener Includes Two Company Premieres

Los Angeles Ballet opens their 13th season October 6 at the Alex Theatre with a mixed repertoire bill entitled Modern Moves. The program features George Balanchine's Western Symphony and the company premieres of Aszure Barton's Les Chambres des Jacques and Alejandro Cerrudo's Lickety-Split. The company repeats the program twice more this month in different theaters in Los Angeles: October 13 at UCLA's Royce Hall and October 20 at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center.

Colorado Ballet Opens Season With "Sleeping Beauty"

Colorado Ballet brings back a timeless favorite October 5-14 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Marius Petipa's classic Sleeping Beauty showcases the company's classical prowess. See excerpts of the company in rehearsal and hear artistic director Gil Boggs discuss the complexity of this production in the above video.

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The Joffrey Ballet's Amanda Assucena and Greig Matthews in Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre. Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet.

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

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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Herman Cornejo in Don Quixote. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT.

American Ballet Theatre's fall season at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater offers a chance to see the company in shorter works and mixed-repertoire programs. This year's October 16–27 run honors principal Herman Cornejo, who's celebrating his 20th anniversary with the company. Cornejo will be featured in a special celebratory program as well as a new work by Twyla Tharp (her 17th for the company), set to Johannes Brahms' String Quartet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 111. The October 26 program will include Cornejo in a pas de deux with his sister, former ABT dancer Erica Cornejo.

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Ballet Careers
Gray Davis with wife, ABT soloist Cassandra Trenary, after his graduation from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Courtesy Trenary.

When Gray Davis retired from American Ballet Theatre in July of 2018, he moved home to South Carolina, unsure of what would come next. Last month, just over a year later, Davis graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Today, he's working as a deputy for the Abbeville County Sheriff's Office.

Though Davis danced in ABT's corps for 11 years and is married to soloist Cassandra Trenary, to many he's best known for saving the life of a man who was pushed onto the subway tracks in New York City in 2017. The heroic effort earned him the New York State Liberty Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by a member of the New York State Senate. We caught up with Davis to hear about how the split second decision he made in the subway affected the course of his life, what it's been like starting a second career and what he sees as the similarities between ballet and law enforcement.

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