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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.

Ballet Careers
American Contemporary Ballet in rehearsal. Anastasia Petukhova, Courtesy ACB.

Lincoln Jones felt there was a pertinence missing from ballet when he decided to form American Contemporary Ballet. "People looking at a film today can pick apart screenwriting versus art direction and editing," says Jones. "They are really conversant with it. I thought ballet is never going to feel super-relevant until people can do that."

So how to do that? Connect the audience to the show.

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Rachel Neville, Courtesy Audition Dancewear

When you dig through your collection of leotards before class, do you ever think about how they're made, or what they're made from? Chances are, most dancers don't, and Audition Dancewear wants to do something about that.

The company—run by two mother-daughter duos, Kathy and Caroline Perry and Shelly and Suzanna Lathrum—has begun making leotards from recycled materials to reduce their carbon footprint and raise awareness around plastic consumption. The result is a sleek line of leos that don't sacrifice style or function, and that use four or five recycled water bottles per leo.

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News
Pratt + Kreidich Photography, Courtesy Dancers & Dogs

The holiday season is coming our way, and with it good cheer, a giving spirit and, of course, The Nutcracker. Our favorite photography duo, Dancers & Dogs, has found a way to garner that energy for a good cause: pet adoption.

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Sponsored by The Rock School
From left: Sarah Lapointe, Derek Dunn and Jeanette Kakareka. Courtesy The Rock School

For more than five decades, The Rock School for Dance Education has been launching young dancers into professional ballet careers around the globe. Boasting distinguished alumni such as Beckanne Sisk, Michaela DePrince and Taylor Stanley, the Philadelphia-based institution has garnered a well-deserved reputation for pairing rigorous training with a tight-knit, welcoming community. Their summer intensives are no different, with a wealth of prestigious faculty members, many of whom are Rock School alums currently dancing at companies around the world.

What inspires busy pros to keep returning to their alma mater? We talked to three of The Rock School's buzziest alums about why they make it a priority to come back and teach:

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