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.

Related Articles From Your Site
Related Articles Around the Web

Latest Posts


Cory Weaver, Courtesy San Francisco Opera

Dancing Divas: How Performing in Operas Can Be a Career High Note

From the flamenco of Carmen to the sprites of Rusalka, dance plays a supporting role in countless operas—and opera can play a significant part in a ballet dancer's career. Pointe went behind the curtain with three dancers whose artistic paths have led them to the opera world.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
James Barkley, Courtesy Dance for Change

Take Class From Celebrated Black Dancers and Raise Money for the NAACP Through Dance for Change

Since the nationwide fight against racial inequality took center stage in May, organizations across the dance world have been looking for meaningful ways to show their support, rather than fall back on empty social media signifiers. July 10-11, Diamante Ballet Dancewear is taking action with Dance for Change, a two-day event dedicated to fundraising for the NAACP, and amplifying the voices of Black professional dancers.

Organized by Diamante Ballet Dancewear's founder, Nashville Ballet 2 dancer Isichel Perez, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre teacher Elise Gillum, Dance for Change makes it easy to participate. Dancers need only to make a donation to the NAACP (in any amount) and email proof to diamante.ballet@gmail.com to be given online access to a full schedule of Zoom master classes taught by Black pros artists. Teachers include Ballet Memphis' George Sanders, Boston Ballet's Daniel Durrett, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Corey Bourbonniere, and more. "It's important that we amplify BIPOC voices during this time, and it's also important that we're conscious of where we're putting our dollars," says Bourbonniere. "Diamante is doing both with Dance for Change, and I'm honored to be in this talented group of melanated dancers."

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Houston Ballet's "Dancing With Myself" Captures How We All Feel Right Now

What are dancers to do when they're still stuck at home in isolation? After all, there's only so much time you can spend taking barre, tackling your reading list (or Netflix queue) or ticking items off your to-do list. Even wistfully looking out the window has lost its appeal after a few months.

That's when you need a dance party—even it's for a party of one.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks