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Onstage This Week: Joffrey's "Jane Eyre" Debut, The Mariinsky Heads to California and More!

The Joffrey Ballet's Amanda Assucena and Greig Matthews in Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre. Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet.

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


Cathy Marston's "Jane Eyre" Makes Its Joffrey Debut 

British choreographer Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre made its U.S. debut at American Ballet Theatre last spring. Now, the ballet makes its way to Chicago. The Joffrey Ballet presents Marston's retelling of Charlotte Brontë's trailblazing novel October 16-27 at the Auditorium Theatre.

The Mariinsky Heads West 

Following its run of Paquita at The Kennedy Center, the Mariinsky Ballet heads to California to present another Russian classic—La Bayadèreat Segerstrom Center for the Arts October 16-20. Catch a glimpse of the glamorous Marius Petipa ballet, set in India, in the above video.

The Ashley Bouder Project Brings Five New Works by Female Choreographers to Akron, OH

On October 18, Ballet in the City brings a group of ballet stars to Akron, OH, to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Ashley Bouder Project. The program will feature commissioned works by five female choreographers: Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Zippora Karz, Catherine Meredith, Zhong-Jing Fang and Julia Erickson. Audiences can also see Ashley Bouder's In Pursuit Of performed by a group of New York City Ballet dancers. Catch a glimpse of Fang's new work for former ABT dancer Elina Miettinen above.

George Balanchine and Paul Taylor Share the Stage at Miami City Ballet

Miami City Ballet is opening its 2019/20 season with a bang. The triple bill program, running October 18-20 at the Miami Arsht Center and then at numerous venues through November 10, features George Balanchine's jazzy and theatrical Slaughter on Tenth Avenue alongside his Stravinsky Violin Concerto and Paul Taylor's Mercuric Tidings.

Milwaukee Ballet Celebrates 50th Anniversary Season with "Coppélia" 

Milwaukee Ballet launches its 50th anniversary season with a run of Coppélia October 17-20. Coppélia is the perfect choice to celebrate the company's history; it was Milwaukee Ballet's first full-length ballet, originally performed in 1970. Get into the Coppélia spirit, and catch a glimpse of Milwaukee Ballet's brand new building, the Baumgartner Center for Dance, in the above trailer.

Wendy Whelan Tours to UCLA in "THE DAY"

October 18-19, New York City Ballet associate artistic director Wendy Whelan joins celebrated cellist Maya Beiser onstage at the Center for the Art of Performance UCLA in THE DAY, choreographed by postmodern icon Lucinda Childs. Exploring memory and resilience, this multi-genre collaboration between Beiser and Childs features music by Pulitzer Prize–winning composer David Lang.

Louisville Ballet Presents World Premiere by Andrea Schermoly

Louisville Ballet's season opens October 18-19 with a triptych of diverse works featuring George Balanchine's Serenade, Stanton Welch's Velocity and the world premiere of Andrea Schermoly's at High. Schermoly, a former dancer with Boston Ballet and Netherlands Dance Theater, is Louisville Ballet's resident choreographer.

Penny Saunders World Premiere Joins Yuri Posskhov's "Firebird" at Grand Rapids Ballet

Grand Rapids Ballet presents Firebird October 18-29 and 25. This mixed-bill program includes Yuri Possokhov's Firebird, GRB artistic director James Sofranko's Mozart Symphony, Adam Houghland's Cold Virtues and the world premiere of Again by GRB choreographer in residence Penny Saunders. Hear Saunders talk about her creative process in the above video.

Island Moving Company Caters to Audiences of All Ages in Two Distinct Programs

Newport, RI-based Island Moving Company presents two programs this week at the Newport Congregational Church. The Nature of Light, features works by IMC artistic director Miki Ohlsen, José Limón, Colin Connor and IMC associate artistic director Danielle Genest, and runs October 17-19.

IMC is also offering something for younger audiences. The company's new Alice in Wonderland, featuring choreography by Ohlsen, Genest and Nancy McAuliffe, makes its debut October 17-20.

Francisco Estevez, Courtesy Colorado Ballet Academy

When you're looking for a ballet program to take you to the next level, there are a lot of factors to consider. While it's tempting to look for the biggest name that will accept you, the savvy dancer knows that successful training has more to do with the attention and opportunities you'll get.

We put together a few of the most important things for dancers to look for in a summer or year-round training program, with the help of the experts at Colorado Ballet Academy:

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Courtesy Nichols

On Instagram this week, Misty Copeland reposted a picture of two Russian ballerinas covered head to toe in black, exposing the Bolshoi's practice of using black face in the classical ballet La Bayadère. The post has already received over 60,000 likes and 2,000 comments, starting a long overdue conversation.

Comments have been pouring in from every angle imaginable: from history lessons on blackface, to people outside of the ballet world expressing disbelief that this happens in 2019, to castigations of Copeland for exposing these young girls to the line of fire for what is ultimately the Bolshoi's costuming choice, to the accusations that the girls—no matter their cultural competence—should have known better.

I am a black dancer, and in 2003, when I was 11 years old, I was dressed up in blackface to perform in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of La Bayadère.

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Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy US Prix de Ballet

The US Prix de Ballet is taking an unconventional approach to the ballet competition—by putting the competitors' health first. After a successful first year in 2018, the Prix is returning to San Diego, CA this February with an even more comprehensive lineup of wellness workshops and master classes, in addition, of course, to the high-level competition.

Though the talent is top-notch, the environment is friendly, says HARID Conservatory faculty member Victoria Schneider, who serves on US Prix de Ballet's elite panel of judges. "The wellbeing of the dancer is the main focus," says Schneider, who awarded three scholarships to HARID at last year's competition.

US Prix de Ballet was born after its founders traveled to the Japan Grand Prix International Ballet Competition in 2016. "The company ran every aspect of the competition with professionalism, dignity, honor and precision," says founder Neisha Hernandez. "We knew we wanted this level of experience for America."

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