Texas Ballet Theater dancers in Pinocchio

Steven Visneau, Courtesy Texas Ballet Theater

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

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.

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How to Support the Black Dance Community, Beyond Social Media

The dance community's response to the death of George Floyd was immediate and sweeping on social media. Dance artists, including Desmond Richardson and Martha Nichols, used their social platforms to make meaningful statements about racial inequality. Theresa Ruth Howard's leadership spurred ballet companies including Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre, and New York City Ballet to pledge #BalletRelevesForBlackLives. Among the most vocal supporters have been dance students, who continue to share the faces and gut-wrenching last words of Black men and women who have died in police custody on their Instagram feeds and Stories.

The work we're doing on social media as a community is important and necessary—and we should keep at it. But now, that momentum must also carry us into taking action. Because to be a true ally, action is required.

A responsible ally amplifies Black voices­­. They choose to listen rather than speak. And they willingly throw their support, and, if they can, their dollars, behind Black dancers and Black dance organizations. Here are some ways you can do your part.

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Class of 2020, These Ballet Stars Have a Heartfelt Video Message Just for You

Congratulations to this year's graduating seniors!

You might not have had the chance to take that long planned-for final bow, but we're here to cheer you on and celebrate all that you've accomplished. And we've brought together stars from across the ballet world to help us; check out the video to hear their best wishes for your futures.

To further fête all of the ballet grads out there, we're also giving away 100 free subscriptions to Pointe... plus, one lucky bunhead will receive a personalized message from one of ballet's biggest stars. Click here to enter!


Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 5/27/2020

Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

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