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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 Careers
Roderick Phifer in Trey McIntyre's The Boogeyman . Bill Hebert, Courtesy BalletX.

This is one of a series of stories on recent graduates' on-campus experiences—and the connections they made that jump-started their dance careers. Roderick Phifer graduated from University of the Arts with a BFA in dance in 2017.

While walking out of a technique class during the first semester of his senior year at Philadelphia's University of the Arts, Roderick Phifer was approached with an unexpected offer. BalletX needed a guest artist for an upcoming performance, and after seeing Phifer perform in one of his senior shows, a UArts alumnus dancing with the company had offered up his name. Phifer ran straight from his technique class to a company class with BalletX, and the troupe's artistic leadership quickly gave him the green light to perform. "It was so last-minute, that, I kid you not, I had three rehearsals," he says. He performed with BalletX as a guest artist that fall, auditioned for an open company position in the spring and had a contract by the end of his senior year.

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Sponsored by The Rock School
From left: Sarah Lapointe, Derek Dunn and Jeanette Kakareka. Courtesy The Rock School

For more than five decades, The Rock School for Dance Education has been launching young dancers into professional ballet careers around the globe. Boasting distinguished alumni such as Beckanne Sisk, Michaela DePrince and Taylor Stanley, the Philadelphia-based institution has garnered a well-deserved reputation for pairing rigorous training with a tight-knit, welcoming community. Their summer intensives are no different, with a wealth of prestigious faculty members, many of whom are Rock School alums currently dancing at companies around the world.

What inspires busy pros to keep returning to their alma mater? We talked to three of The Rock School's buzziest alums about why they make it a priority to come back and teach:

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Viral Videos

In this video ThePointeShop's Josephine Lee may not be giving her usual pointe shoe advice, but she is putting pointe shoes to good use... in the classic wedding shoe game. She plays with newly engaged Ballet West dancers Beckanne Sisk and Chase O'Connell to find out how well the couple knows each other.

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Courtesy Apolla

Ballet dancers today are asked to do more with their bodies than ever before. The physical demands of a ballet career can take an immense toll on a dancer's joints and muscles—subjecting them to pain, inflammation and an increased risk of injury. Considering all that is required of today's dancers, having a top-notch recovery regime is paramount.

Enter Apolla Performance Wear, which is meeting ballet's physical demands with a line of compression footwear that is speeding up the recovery process for professional dancers by reducing inflammation and stabilizing the joints.

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