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Onstage This Week: Vail Dance Fest Comes to an End, Natalia Osipova as Isadora Duncan and More!

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will revive "An Evening with Pianist Joyce Yang" this weekend in Aspen. Photo by Rose Eichenbaum, Courtesy of ASFB.

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


Vail Dance Festival Races to the Finish Line

This Sunday, Vail Dance Festival wraps up an eventful few weeks jam-packed with premieres, collaborations and guests. The final week of the festival has us looking forward to appearances from American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Hispánico and more.


Vail's NOW: Premieres Includes New Michelle Dorrance Work for ABT

On August 6, Vail's NOW: Premieres program features new works commissioned for the festival. Choreographers include New York City Ballet star Tiler Peck (making her festival choreographic debut), Lauren Lovette, Justin Peck and Claudia Schreier, who is creating a ballet on dancers from Ballet Hispánico. Tap maverick Michelle Dorrance is also choreographing a piece on American Ballet Theatre, the second of Dorrance's three works on the company this year. Watch some of the same choreographers' premieres at the 2017 edition of NOW below.


Ballet Hispánico's Carmen.maquia

NYC-based Ballet Hispánico will appear on two Vail stages: the Avon Performance Pavilion on August 8 and the Vilar Performing Arts Center on August 9. The first, a family-friendly park performance, is free to the public, with a program celebrating the diversity of Latino cultures. The second features Gustavo Ramírez Sansano's CARMEN.maquia, a contemporary, Picasso-inspired reinterpretation of the classic Bizet opera, Carmen.


BalletX Headlines the Closing Night Performance

Philadelphia's BalletX has been a presence for six of the past seven Vail Dance Festivals. This year, the company will appear at the closing event on August 11, in works all new to the festival. Also on the program is a world premiere by Memphis jooking star Lil Buck, also a Vail regular. The performance includes an onstage dance party for the audience.


World Premiere Starring Natalia Osipova Pays Tribute to Isadora Duncan

On August 10-12, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA, presents the world premiere of ISADORA, a full-length tribute to modern dance icon Isadora Duncan. With choreography by Vladimir Varnava of the Mariinsky Theatre, the ballet is set to music from Sergei Prokofiev's Cinderella. International star and Royal Ballet principal Natalia Osipova will star in the title role. Former American Ballet Theatre principal Veronika Part and Vladimir Dorokhin will also have top billing. Catch a glimpse inside the rehearsal process in the following video.


Dancers from The National Ballet of Canada at the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur

For the August 12 closing of the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur, artistic director and National Ballet of Canada principal Guillaume Côté will take the stage with some of his NBoC colleagues. The performance will feature a world premiere by Côté, as well as two ballets by Canadian choreographer James Kudelka: the Summer pas de deux from his The Four Seasons and The Man in Black, a tribute to singer-songwriter Johnny Cash.


Chautauqua Welcomes Nashville Ballet

On August 11, Nashville Ballet will perform at the Chautaqua Institution in upstate New York, with accompaniment from the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Two works by Nashville Ballet artistic director Paul Vasterling are on the bill: Appalachian Spring, an abstract interpretation to Aaron Copland's famous score, and selections from Concerto: The Ben Folds Project. Jiří Kylián's Six Dances and selections from George Balanchine's Western Symphony finish out the night.


Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Brings Back Collaboration with Pianist Joyce Yang

World-renowned pianist Joyce Yang and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet are presenting an encore of their sold-out show, An Evening with Pianist Joyce Yang, in Aspen August 10-11. The program features Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo's Half/Cut/Split, set to Robert Schumman's Carnaval; Jiří Kylián's Return to a Strange Land, a tribute to his mentor, John Cranko; and Nicolo Fonte's 2011 Where We Left Off, which Fonte intended purely as a "pretty ballet"—a concept he described as taboo at the time.

Viral Videos

Master pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee of the California-based ThePointeShop chats with Ballet West soloist Chelsea Keefer to hear about how she prepares her pointe shoes. Keefer offers lots of darning tips, and shares all of the unusual ways that she uses rosin.

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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News
Dane Shitagi, Courtesy Chronicle Books

Earlier this year, we shared that photographer Dane Shitagi's Ballerina Project—his gorgeous, ongoing collection of dance photos that have dominated our Instagram feeds for years—would be coming to an end. But all is not lost—starting September 17, you can enjoy over 170 of these photographs in Ballerina Project, a stunning new book showcasing Shitagi's work.

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From left: Kathryn Posin Dance Company members Daniel White, Claire Mazza and Momchil Mladenov in Evolution: The Letters of Charles Darwin. Nan Melville, Courtesy Posin.

Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution might not seem like a natural fit for the ballet stage. But that's exactly the topic of one of choreographer Kathryn Posin's three new ballets, scheduled to premiere at New York City's 92nd Street Y September 13-14.

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