News

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.

Summer Intensive Survival
Getty Images

There's a sweet spot toward the end of August—after summer intensives have wrapped up and before it's time to head back to school or work—where the days are long, lazy and begging to be spent neck-deep in a pile of good books. Whether you're looking for inspiration for the upcoming season or trying to brush up on your dance history, you can never go wrong with an excellent book on ballet. We've gathered eight titles (all available at common booksellers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble) guaranteed to give you a deeper understanding of the art form, to add to your end-of-summer reading list.

Keep reading... Show less
Site Network
James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico warm up onstage. Angela Sterling, Courtesy SDC.

On a sunny July weekend, hundreds of Seattle-area dance fans converged on tiny Vashon Island, a bucolic enclave in Puget Sound about 20 miles from the city. They made the ferry trek to attend the debut performance of the fledgling Seattle Dance Collective.

SDC is not a run-of-the-mill contemporary dance company; it's the brainchild of two of Pacific Northwest Ballet's most respected principal dancers: James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico. The duo wanted to create a nimble organization to feature dancers and choreographers they felt needed more exposure in the Pacific Northwest.

Keep reading... Show less
News
Roman Mejia in Robbins' Dances at a Gathering. Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB.

The Princess Grace Foundation has just announced its 2019 class, and we're thrilled that two ballet dancers—New York City Ballet's Roman Mejia and BalletX's Stanley Glover—are included among the list of über-talented actors, filmmakers, playwrights, dancers and choreographers.

Keep reading... Show less
Trending
The Royal Ballet's Alexander Campbell and Yasmine Naghdi in Ashton's The Two Pigeons. Tristram Kenton, Courtesy ROH.

While most ballet casts are 100 percent human, it's not unheard of for live animals to appear onstage, providing everything from stage dressing to supporting roles. Michael Messerer's production of Don Quixote features a horse and a donkey; American Ballet Theatre's Giselle calls for two Russian wolfhounds; and Sir Frederick Ashton's La Fille Mal Gardee requires a white Shetland pony. Another Ashton masterpiece, The Two Pigeons, is well known for its animal actors. But though ballet is a highly disciplined, carefully choreographed art form, some performers are naturally more prone to flights of fancy—because they're birds.

Keep reading... Show less