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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.

Ballet Training
Hortense Millet-Maurin (third from left) and her classmates perform August Bournonville's La Conservatoire. Svetlana Loboff, Courtesy POB.

As a little girl, Hortense Millet-Maurin fell in love with the wide spiral staircase that dominates the center of the Paris Opéra Ballet School. Today, as a focused 15-year-old POB student, she and her classmate Vincent Vivet navigate the school's spacious architecture on a daily basis. In a hallway strewn with foam rollers and tennis balls, their faces are laced with concentration as they prepare alongside their peers for afternoon ballet class. Color-coded uniforms reflect Vivet's and Millet-Maurin's third division; with only two advanced divisions remaining, they are increasingly close to realizing their professional aspirations: joining the Paris Opéra Ballet. Pointe spoke with these two young dancers to see what it's like studying inside the world's oldest ballet academy.

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Sponsored by Ballet Arizona
Tzu Chia Huang, Courtesy Ballet Arizona

These days, ballet dancers are asked to do more than they ever have—whether that's tackling versatile rep, taking on intense cross-training regimens or managing everything from their Instagram pages to their summer layoff gigs.

Without proper training, these demands can take a toll on both the mind and the body. But students can start preparing for them early—with the right summer intensive program.

The School of Ballet Arizona's summer intensive takes a well-rounded approach to training—not just focusing on technique and facility but nurturing overall dancer growth. "You cannot make a dancer just by screaming at them like they used to," says master ballet teacher Roberto Muñoz, who guests at the program every summer. "You have to take care of the person as well."

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Ballet Training
Emily Giacalone, modeled by Elizabeth Steele of The School at Steps.

If you're feeling wobbly in adagio or wish you could hold your piqué attitude a bit longer, there are ways to assess and improve your balance. Try these four exercises, recommended by Heather Southwick, Boston Ballet's director of physical therapy.

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Courtesy School of Pennsylvania Ballet

While many of us are deep in Nutcracker duties, The School of Pennsylvania Ballet director James Payne has been looking further ahead, finalizing preparations for the school's summer intensive programs. In January, he and his staff will embark on a 24-city audition tour to scour the country for the best young dancers, deciding whether or not to offer them a spot—maybe even a scholarship—in the school's rigorous 5-week intensive focused on high-caliber ballet instruction. Though he'll be evaluating aspirants, he urges that as a student, you should be equally selective in choosing programs that could galvanize your training—and possibly even your career.

We got Payne's advice on strategizing your summer intensive plan before the audition cycle kicks in:

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