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Onstage This Week: ABT's Met Season Opens, U.S. Premiere of "Pinocchio," Eifman Ballet in Chicago, and More!

Steven Visneau, Courtesy Texas Ballet Theater

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


ABT's Met Opera Season Opens With "Harlequinade"

American Ballet Theatre's annual eight-week long Metropolitan Opera House season opens May 13 with Alexei Ratmansky's Harlequinade, running through May 18. Following its premiere last year, Harlequinade is presented as part of a celebration of Ratmansky's 10-year anniversary as ABT's artist in residence. The season's next seven weeks are packed with classics like Le Corsaire, Manon, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, as well as newer works by Ratmansky, Twyla Tharp and Cathy Marston; see how many ballets you can spot in the above trailer.

Boston Ballet Presents a World Premiere by Principal Dancer Paulo Arrais

Boston Ballet presents Rhapsody May 16-June 9. This mixed bill features the world premiere of ELA, Rhapsody in Blue, choreographed by BB principal Paulo Arrais. It's set to a jazzy score by George Gershwin with scenic and costume design by artistic director Mikko Nissinen. Joining Arrais' new ballet are George Balanchine's Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 and a trio of short works by Leonid Yakobson: Pas de Quatre, Rodin and the Boston Ballet premiere of Vestris. Above, dancers Kathleen Breen Combes, Rachel Buriassi and Maria Alvarez dance experts from the ballet to a poem by Taina Cavalcante Rocha; June 9 will mark Combes' final performance with the company.

Pinocchio Comes to Life at Texas Ballet Theater 

May 17-19 marks the U.S. premiere of Will Tuckett's Pinocchio at Texas Ballet Theater. A co-production with National Ballet of Canada, this full-length ballet made its debut in 2017. After its run in Dallas this week, the company will present Pinocchio in Fort Worth May 24-26. Tuckett worked with composer Paul Englishby, designer Colin Richmond and projectionist Douglas O'Connell to bring this story (and this puppet) to life.

Eifman Ballet Comes Stateside

Russia's St. Petersburg–based Eifman Ballet presents the North American premiere of The Pygmalion Effect, May 17-19 at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre. Choreographed by director Boris Eifman to music by Johann Strauss Jr., this ballet is inspired by the Greek mythological tale of Pygmalion, a sculptor who falls in love with his creation. Following its run in Chicago, The Pygmalion Effect will make its way to Costa Mesa, CA, Berkeley, CA and New York City.

Sacramento Ballet's Triple Bill Features World Premiere by Amy Seiwert

Sacramento Ballet presents Fast Forward May 16-19. This triple bill program includes Val Caniparoli's The Bridge, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Written and Forgotten and a world premiere by artistic director Amy Seiwert. Titled Elpis, Seiwert's new ballet features original music written and performed live by violinist Christen Lien. Catch a glimpse of company artists Dylan Keane and Ava Chatterson in rehearsal above.

Smuin Ballet's Dance Series 02 Is Back

Smuin Ballet presents its Dance Series 02 in Walnut Creek, CA, May 17-18 followed by a tour to nearby Mountain View and Carmel through June 1. The program, which had its debut in San Francisco last month, includes a new work by Amy Seiwert titled Renaissance, as well as company founder Michael Smuin's The Best of Smuin. Catch an interview with Seiwert in the above video.

Three Story Ballets Return

Houston Ballet brings back Ben Stevenson OBE's Coppélia May 17-26. Above, hear principal Karina González on dancing the role of Swanhilda.

May 16-19 Carolina Ballet presents Robert Weiss' Swan Lake.

New Jersey-based company Roxey Ballet features Mark Roxey's Cinderella May 18-19. The May 18 matinee performance is sensory-friendly, catering to children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and with other special needs.

The Conversation
Ballet Training
Getty Images

When the curtain falls, your work isn't over: That's exactly when post-show recovery begins. According to Carina Nasrallah, Houston Methodist athletic trainer for Houston Ballet, timing is everything. The 30 minutes after a performance is the optimal window to start combatting soreness and encourage muscle repair. Here, she shares the essential elements of a recovery plan from curtain call until bedtime.

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Viral Videos
Brittany Cavaco in Until Midnight. Claire Morris, Courtesy Cavaco.

A white tulle dress, time travel, the Eiffel Tower at night... these elements come together in Until Midnight, a new dance film by Christopher Alexander of Zen Film Works. This eight-minute long vignette opens with Louise (played by Louise Schirmer), a former ballerina now living alone in old age. Through the delivery of a mysterious letter and a wristwatch from her past, she returns briefly to her youthful self, danced by former Washington Ballet dancer Brittany Cavaco. In a Cinderella-like twist, Louise has until midnight to find her beloved Jean Pierre (Sebastien Thill, former dancer with Paris Opera Ballet and Hamburg Ballet) for one last dance. According to Cavaco, all of the movement was improvised, created by herself and Alexander in each location.

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Ballet Training
Peter Boal in class a New York City Center. Courtesy PNB.

"People have so much fear associated with arabesque turns," says Peter Boal, artistic director of Pacific Northwest Ballet. Here, he shares images and ideas to help you confidently master this advanced pirouette. "It's a real accomplishment when you can put it all together."

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