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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.

Francisco Estevez, Courtesy Colorado Ballet Academy

When you're looking for a ballet program to take you to the next level, there are a lot of factors to consider. While it's tempting to look for the biggest name that will accept you, the savvy dancer knows that successful training has more to do with the attention and opportunities you'll get.

We put together a few of the most important things for dancers to look for in a summer or year-round training program, with the help of the experts at Colorado Ballet Academy:

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Everything Nutcracker
Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz as the Sugar Plum Fairy during a stage rehearsal for George Balanchine's Nutcracker. All photography by Arian Molina Soca.

For many professional ballet dancers, Nutcracker means weeks of performances. That usually translates to multiple casts—and important breakout opportunities for those in the junior ranks. On the afternoon of December 13, Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz made her debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy along with her Cavalier, corps member Austin Eylar. For the Brazilian-born dancer, who joined PAB in 2018 after two seasons at Houston Ballet, Sugar Plum marks one of her first principal roles.

"I'm really excited," says Golz. PAB artistic director Angel Corella appointed 12 casts of Sugar Plum Fairies over the run's 29 performances. "When I first found out, I was like, 'Pinch me!' I still can't believe it."

We caught up with Golz just before her debut to see how she prepared for her big break.

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Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy US Prix de Ballet

The US Prix de Ballet is taking an unconventional approach to the ballet competition—by putting the competitors' health first. After a successful first year in 2018, the Prix is returning to San Diego, CA this February with an even more comprehensive lineup of wellness workshops and master classes, in addition, of course, to the high-level competition.

Though the talent is top-notch, the environment is friendly, says HARID Conservatory faculty member Victoria Schneider, who serves on US Prix de Ballet's elite panel of judges. "The wellbeing of the dancer is the main focus," says Schneider, who awarded three scholarships to HARID at last year's competition.

US Prix de Ballet was born after its founders traveled to the Japan Grand Prix International Ballet Competition in 2016. "The company ran every aspect of the competition with professionalism, dignity, honor and precision," says founder Neisha Hernandez. "We knew we wanted this level of experience for America."

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