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Onstage This Week: 3 World Premieres at The Washington Ballet, Ballet West Presents "Onegin," and More!

Ballet West principals Beckanne Sisk and Chase O'Connell in John Cranko's Onegin. Beau Pearson, Courtesy Ballet West.

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


The Washington Ballet Presents Three World Premieres

April 3-7, The Washington Ballet presents three never before seen works. The first is Ethan Stiefel's Wood Work. This abstract take on life in a small Nordic community will be performed to music played live by the Danish String Quartet. Former San Francisco Ballet soloist Dana Genshaft's Shadow Lands is set to the electronic music of Mason Bates. Last up is Trey McIntyre's Teeming Waltzes, which pairs Strauss waltzes with a set combining ball pits and bubbles. Catch glimpses of Stiefel and Genshaft's works in the above video from TWB's Works & Process show at the Guggenheim last month.

All Stravinsky at Pennsylvania Ballet, Including a World Premiere by Matthew Neenan

From April 4-7 Pennsylvania Ballet celebrates composer Igor Stravinsky's vast oeuvre. The program includes three Stravinsky classics—Balanchine's Apollo and Stravinsky Violin Concerto and the company premiere of Jerome Robbins' The Cage—as well as a world premiere by Matthew Neenan titled Deco to Stravinsky's Piano Sonata and Tango.

Ballet West Brings John Cranko's "Onegin" to Utah Stages

Ballet West presents the company premiere of John Cranko's Onegin April 5-13. Based on Alexander Pushkin's dramatic novel in verse, Onegin tells the story of an arrogant aristocrat who rejects the love of a naive country girl, only to realize his great mistake years later. Cranko originally created this three-act ballet for Stuttgart Ballet in 1964. Above, Ballet West principals Arolyn Williams and Rex Tilton discuss the challenges of learning a new full-length ballet.

NYCB is Back at The Kennedy Center

New York City Ballet returns to The Kennedy Center April 2-7 for its annual run. This year, the company brings two mixed repertoire programs. First up is Balanchine, Robbins & Reisen, a blend of new and old featuring Gianna Reisen's Composer's Holiday, George Balanchine's Kammermusik No. 2 and Symphony in C, and Jerome Robbins' Opus 19/The Dreamer. The second program, New Works & New Productions, includes Justin Peck's Easy, Robbins' In the Night, Kyle Abraham's The Runaway and the Jerome Robbins tribute extravaganza, SOMETHING TO DANCE ABOUT.

Exciting Premieres at Festival Ballet Providence

Festival Ballet Providence in Wheeldon's Five Movements, Three Repeats

Zaire Kacz Photography, Courtesy FBP

Festival Ballet Providence's Up Close on Hope program, part of its Black Box Theatre series, runs two consecutive weekends this month: April 5-7 and 12-14. This varied program includes the company premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's Five Movements, Three Repeats, originally created on Wendy Whelan and Martha Graham Dance Company star Fang-Yi Sheu at the Vail Dance Festival in 2012. Also on display are Gianni Di Marco's new adaptation of Bolero and the world premiere of Yury Yanowsky's The Sun Sleeps.

Milwaukee Ballet Presents Val Caniparoli's "Lambarena"

Val Caniparoli's Lambarena has its company premiere at Milwaukee Ballet April 4-7. First presented in 1995 at San Francisco Ballet and since performed by over 20 companies worldwide, this work blends Bach, ballet and traditional African dance and music in a celebration of the universal language of dance. Catch a glimpse in the above video. Pieces by former Genesis choreographic competition winners Enrico Morelli and George Williamson will round out the triple bill.

Colorado Ballet Brings Two Classics to the Stage

Colorado Ballet's Ballet MasterWorks program, onstage at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House April 5-14, brings two classics to Denver audiences. The program opens with George Balanchine's Serenade and closes with Fernand Nault's Carmina Burana, marking its revival after nearly 20 years. Above, hear artistic director Gil Boggs discuss Serenade.

Tom Gold Dance's Spring Season Includes a World Premiere to Music by Leonard Bernstein

Tom Gold Dance presents its spring season April 3-4 at the Kaye Playhouse in New York. The program includes three works by company founder Tom Gold: the world premiere of Significant Strangers to piano compositions by Leonard Bernstein, the New York premiere of Blind Revelry set to Stephen Sondheim's Concertino, and the revival of his Counterpoint to music by Steve Reich.

The Conversation
Ballet Training
Via Burst

I'm a ballet dancer of 13 years, but I only got serious about it a few years ago, and very recently realized that I might want to pursue ballet professionally. I've contemplated auditioning for several prestigious pre-professional programs. But now I'm a junior in high school, so I'm worried it's too late. Should I still go for it, or am I better off staying at my current studio and going to college? —Lexi

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The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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Ballet Stars
Tetsuya Kumakawa, via YouTube

Tetsuya Kumakawa, a former principal with The Royal Ballet and the founder and artistic director of K-Ballet in Tokyo, could make an audience gasp with his wildly powerful and inventive allegro. A boyish, dare-devil dancer, Kumakawa was a natural fit for roles like Franz in Coppélia. Watching him in this clip of Franz's Act I variation, it seems Kumakawa must have some sort of gravity-defying DNA.

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Ballet Stars
Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB

Your teacher at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Marcia Dale Weary, recently passed away. What impact did she have on you?

I feel deeply indebted to her. She shaped my life's course, and I know that were it not for her, I would not be living out my dream today. She led by example through her remarkable commitment to her work, as well as her genuine kindness and generosity.

You were a trainee with San Francisco Ballet. What was that experience like?

It was an exposure to different schools of thought. We were mostly in the full-lengths, and watching run-throughs of Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote was revolutionary for me. But I was young and far away from home. That transition was hard. My body started changing. It wanted to be fleshy. Biology is cruel in that way. I desperately wanted to fit in, but it wasn't meant to be.

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