Ballet Austin's Aara Krumpe in The Firebird. After 20 years, this is Krumpe's final season with the company. Photo by Tony Spielberg, Courtesy Ballet Austin.

Onstage This Week: NYCB Opens Fall Season With "Jewels," The Australian Ballet's Debut of "Spartacus," Firebirds, Swans and More!

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


New York City Ballet's Fall Season Opens with "Jewels" 

New York City Ballet's fall season opens September 18 at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater with six performances of Jewels. George Balanchine's beloved triptych is celebrated as the first full-length abstract ballet. When it debuted in 1967, Balanchine explained the inspiration behind his new masterpiece to an interviewer by saying, "The whole thing was—I like jewels." Catch a glimpse of "Emeralds," "Rubies" and "Diamonds" in the above trailer. The first week of NYCB's season also includes an all-Balanchine program featuring Concerto Barocco, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Stravinsky Violin Concerto and Symphony in C.

The Australian Ballet Debuts a New "Spartacus" 

September 18–29, The Australian Ballet's much awaited Spartacus debuts in Melbourne. Choreographer Lucas Jervies' new production retells the classical story of a warrior leading a slave rebellion against the Roman empire with music by Aram Khachaturian and sets and costumes by Jérôme Kaplan, known for his work on Alexei Ratmansky's Cinderella. The Australian Ballet has put out a series of behind-the-scenes videos giving viewers an insider look at the sets, costumes and choreography of the, ambitious production. Spartacus returns November 9–24 in Sydney.

Pacific Northwest Ballet Kicks Off Jerome Robbins Festival

Celebrations of Jerome Robbins' centennial are still in full swing. Pacific Northwest Ballet presented an all-Robbins program in Paris this summer, and now on September 21, they're bringing it back home. PNB's two-week Robbins festival featuring seven iconic ballets: In the Night, West Side Story Suite, Afternoon of a Faun, Other Dances, Circus Polka, The Concert and Dances at a Gathering. Check out an excerpt of the hilarious "Mistake Waltz" section of The Concert in the above video.

Nashville Ballet Opens Season with "Swan Lake" 

Nashville Ballet is opening their season with a bang: Their upgraded Swan Lake runs September 21–23. Artistic director Paul Vasterling (celebrating his 20th year with the company) made a number of choreographic updates, and Odette and the swan corps will be sporting new costumes. In anticipation, Nashville Ballet just put out this video describing the process behind creating 28 new swan tutus. Watch to see how many hours go into making a tutu—we bet you'll be surprised.

"The Firebird" Lights Up Ballet Austin's Season Opener 

Ballet Austin's 2018–19 season opens September 21–23 with a program featuring artistic director Stephen Mills' The Firebird juxtaposed by Lar Lubovitch's fluid Dvořák Serenade. Performances will feature company dancer Aara Krumpe in one of her best-known roles, the Firebird. Krumpe is embarking on her final season with Ballet Austin after a 20-year tenure, the longest of any dancer in the company's history.

Smuin Ballet's 25th-Anniversary Season Opens with Mixed Rep Program 

San Francisco–based Smuin Ballet launches its 25th anniversary season September 21 with Dance Series 01, a mixed repertoire program showing the breadth of the company. Works include Trey McIntyre's Blue Until June to music by Etta James, a trio of works by current and former company dancers, and two works by Michael Smuin himself: Schubert Scherzo and Eternal Idol. Learn a bit more about the company's 25-year history in the above video.

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Peter Mueller, Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet

2020 Stars of the Corps: 10 Dancers Making Strides In and Out of the Spotlight

The corps de ballet make up the backbone of every company. In our Fall 2020 issue, we highlighted 10 ensemble standouts to keep your eye on. Click on their names to learn more!

Dara Holmes, Joffrey Ballet

A male dancer catches a female dancer in his right arm as she wraps her left arm around his shoulder and executes a high arabesque on pointe. Both wear white costumes and dance in front of a blue backdrop onstage.

Dara Holmes and Edson Barbosa in Myles Thatcher's Body of Your Dreams

Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet

Wanyue Qiao, American Ballet Theatre

Wearing a powder blue tutu, cropped light yellow top and feather tiara, Wanyue Qiao does a piqu\u00e9 retir\u00e9 on pointe on her left leg and pulls her right arm in towards her.

Wanyue Qiao as an Odalisque in Konstantin Sergeyev's Le Corsaire

Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT

Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson, Houston Ballet

Three male dancers in tight-fitting, multicolored costumes stand in positions of ascending height from left to right. All extend their right arms out in front of them.

Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson (far right) with Saul Newport and Austen Acevedo in Oliver Halkowich's Following

Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet

Leah McFadden, Colorado Ballet

Wearing a white pixie wig and a short light-pink tunic costume, a female ballet dancer poses in attitude front on pointe with her left arm bent across her ribs and her right hand held below her chin.

Leah McFadden as Amour in Colorado Ballet's production of Don Quixote

Mike Watson, Courtesy Colorado Ballet

Maria Coelho, Tulsa Ballet

Maria Coelho and Sasha Chernjavsky in Andy Blankenbuehler's Remember Our Song

Kate Lubar, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet

Alexander Reneff-Olson, San Francisco Ballet

A ballerina in a black feathered tutu stands triumphantly in sous-sus, holding the hand of a male dancer in a dark cloak with feathers underneath who raises his left hand in the air.

Alexander Reneff-Olson (right) as Von Rothbart with San Francisco Ballet principal Yuan Yuan Tan in Swan Lake

Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB

India Bradley, New York City Ballet

Wearing a blue dance dress with rhinestone embellishments and a sparkly tiara, India Bradley finishes a move with her arms out to the side and hands slightly flexed.

India Bradley practices backstage before a performance of Balanchine's Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2.

Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB

Bella Ureta, Cincinnati Ballet

Wearing a white dress with pink corset, Bella Ureta does a first arabesque on pointe in front of an onstage stone wall.

Bella Ureta performs the Act I Pas de Trois in Kirk Peterson's Swan Lake

Hiromi Platt, Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet

Alejándro Gonzales, Oklahoma City Ballet

Dressed in a green bell-boy costume and hat, Alejandro Gonz\u00e1lez does a saut\u00e9 with his left leg in retir\u00e9 and his arms in a long diagonal from right to left. Other dancers in late 19-century period costumes watch him around the stage.

Alejandro González in Michael Pink's Dracula at Oklahoma City Ballet.

Kate Luber, Courtesy Oklahoma City Ballet

Nina Fernandes, Miami City Ballet

Wearing a long white tutu and crown, Nina Fernandes does a saut de chat in front of a wintery backdrop as snow falls from the top of the stage.

Nina Fernandes in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Miami City Ballet

Quinn Wharton

Pacific Northwest Ballet's Angelica Generosa Shares Her Classic, Comfy Style In and Out of the Studio

"I love the feeling and look of effortless fashion," says Angelica Generosa. Preferring a classic style, the Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist keeps her wardrobe stocked with blazers. But they serve a practical purpose, too. "It tends to get chilly in Seattle, so it's the perfect accessory for layering," Generosa explains.

She's also quite fond of designer handbags. "They're my go-to accessory, and they're also my weakness when shopping," she says, naming Chloé, Chanel and Dior as some of her favorite brands. "I really appreciate the craftsmanship it takes to produce one—they're so beautiful and each has its own story, in a way."

In the studio, Generosa prioritizes comfort, and she'll change up her look depending on the repertoire (leotards and tutus for classical works, breathable shirts with workout pants for contemporary). But she always arrives to work in style. "I really love putting together outfits for even just going to the studio," she says. "It's another way of expressing my mood and what kind of vibe I'm going for that day."

The Details: Street

Angelica Generosa, wearing a blue blazer, white blouse and gray jeans, is photographed from underneath as she walks and looks to the right.

Quinn Wharton

BCBG blazer: "It has some shoulder pads and a really cool pattern," says Generosa. "It reminds me of my mom and '80s fashion."

Zara blouse: She incorporate neutrals, like this white satin button-up, to balance bright pops of colors.

Angelica Generosa looks off to her right in front of a glass-windowed building. She wears a blue blazer, white blouse, gray jeans and carries a small green handbag.

Quinn Wharton

Madewell jeans: Comfort is a major factor for Generosa, who gets her fashion inspiration from her mom, friends and people she comes across day to day.

Chloé bag: "I tend to have smaller purses because I'm quite small. Bigger bags overwhelm me sometimes—unless it's my dance bag, of course!"

The Details: Studio

Angleica Generosa, wearing a blue tank leotard, black wool leggings and pink pointe shoes, balances in a lunge on pointe with her left leg in front, facing a wall of windows.

Quinn Wharton

Label Dancewear leotard: "This was designed by my good friend Elizabeth Murphy, a principal dancer here at PNB. Her leotards always fit me really well."

Mirella leggings: "I get cold easily," says Generosa, who wears leggings and vests to stay warm throughout the day.

Angelica Generosa, wearing a blue tank leotard, black wool tights and pink pointe shoes, jumps and crosses her right foot over her left shin while lifting her arms up to the right.

Quinn Wharton

Freed of London pointe shoes: "When sewing them, I crisscross my elastics and use an elasticized ribbon from Body Wrappers," which helps alleviate Achilles tendon issues, she says. She then trims the satin off of the tip of the shoe. "Then I bend the shank a bit to loosen it up and cut a bit off where my arch is."

Getty Images

This New "Nutcracker" Competition Wants Your Dance Studio to be Part of a Virtual Collaboration

Despite worldwide theater closures, the Universal Ballet Competition is keeping The Nutcracker tradition alive in 2020 with an online international competition. The event culminates in a streamed, full-length video of The Virtual Nutcracker consisting of winning entries on December 19. The competition is calling on studios, as well as dancers of all ages and levels, to submit videos by November 29 to be considered.

"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."

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