Onstage This Week: The World Premiere of Milwaukee Ballet's "Beauty and the Beast," Eugene Ballet's New "Peer Gynt," and More

Atlanta Ballet in Ohad Naharin's "Minus 16." Photo by C. McCullers, Courtesy Atlanta Ballet.

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

Story Ballets, New and Old

The world premiere of Milwaukee Ballet artistic director Michael Pink's Beauty and the Beast opens April 12. The ballet features nearly 80 children from the company's affiliated school and is set to a score by contemporary composer Philip Feeney. Take a deep dive into Pink's creative process in the video below.

April 14-15 Eugene Ballet presents the world premiere of artistic director Toni Pimble's Peer Gynt. A retelling of Henrik Ibsen's play, the ballet is described as a "journey through the real and the surreal." Catch a sneak peek in this trailer.

Houston Ballet's Don Quixote is back after a 12 year hiatus. The revival of former artistic director Ben Stevenson OBE's production runs April 13-15. The company has posted a series of videos of dancers discussing their roles. Hear from Charles-Louis Yoshiyama as Basilio and Linnar Looris as Don Quixote below.

Mixed Bills Galore

Five companies present diverse mixed bills this week featuring a slew of premieres and a reverence for classics.

Atlanta Ballet's Tu Tu & More program (we love the punny title) runs April 13-15 and includes the company premiere of Stanton Welch's Tu Tu, the world premiere of Tara Lee's Blink and Ohad Naharin's Minus 16. Lee's new work touches on constellation formations and stars moving in the cosmos; check out the rehearsal shot below.

Pacific Northwest Ballet presents three hyper-contemporary works April 13-22. The program includes Crystal Pite's Emergence, Alejandro Cerrudo's Little mortal jump and the company premiere of San Francisco Ballet resident choreographer Yuri Possokhov's RAkU. RAkU pulls from Japanese theater forms Noh and butoh to tell the story of two lovers, a monk and four warriors.

Oregon Ballet Theatre presents a five part program April 12-21 titled Man/Woman, which juxtaposes all female and all male ballets to explore gender stereotypes. The program also includes Left Unsaid by resident choreographer Nicolo Fonte, which features a coed cast. The other four works are Michel Fokine's The Dying Swan (think Anna Pavlova), the world premiere of Darrell Grand Moultrie's Fluidity of Steel, the revival of James Canfield's Drifted in a Deeper Land and the OBT premiere of Jiří Kylián's Falling Angels.

April 11-15, The Washington Ballet presents a triptych of classics in their Mixed Masters program: George Balanchine's Serenade, Frederick Ashton's Symphonic Variations and Jerome Robbins The Concert (or, The Perils of Everybody) in celebration of his centennial. Listen to artistic director Julie Kent explain the importance of these works in the below video.

April 13-21 Ballet West presents The Shakespeare Suite, a mixed bill of vastly different works which artistic director Adam Sklute describes as "unexpected favorites." The program includes Jiří Kylián's Return to a Strange Land, Merce Cunningham's Summerspace and David Bintley's The Shakespeare Suite, a series of pop culture vignettes of different Shakespeare plays set to the music of Duke Ellington.

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Viral Videos
Bucharest National Ballet's 2013 trailer for "La Sylphide,' via YouTube

Few things are more powerful for promoting ballet performances than captivating trailers—especially in today's visually-focused, digitally-connected world.

We've rounded up some eye-catching ads from seasons past and present that not only make us wish we could have seen the show, but also stand alone as short films.

Bucharest National Opera's La Sylphide

Magnifying the scarf which—spoiler alert—brings about the ballet's tragic conclusion, this 2013 Bucharest National Opera's trailer turns that fateful fabric into a beautiful, deadly web. Its windswept movements form a dance of its own.

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Looking for your next audition shoe? Shot at and in collaboration with Broadway Dance Center, Só Dança has launched a new collection of shoes working with some pretty famous faces of the musical theater world! Offered in two different styles and either 2.5" or 3" heels, top industry professionals are loving how versatile and supportive these shoes are! Pro tip: The heel is centered under the body so you can feel confident and stable!

Boston Ballet in Bournonville's "La Sylphide." Photo by Angela Sterling, Courtesy Boston Ballet.

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

Wayne McGregor Makes His ABT Choreographic Debut

Ever since Vaslav Nijinsky shocked Paris audiences in 1913 with his Rite of Spring for the Ballets Russes, dancemakers from Sir Kenneth MacMillan to Pina Bausch have tried their hands at choreographing to Igor Stravinsky's infamous score. This spring, Wayne McGregor will be added to that list. The Royal Ballet resident choreographer's first work for American Ballet Theatre, titled AFTERITE, will premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City on May 21. Known for his grounded and experimental movement style, McGregor's work will feature video designs by innovative filmmaker Ravi Deepres and sets and costumes by designer Vicki Mortimer, both longtime collaborators. Alessandra Ferri, who has collaborated with McGregor in the past, will join ABT as a guest artist.

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via Instagram

The wait for Alexei Ratmansky's restaging of Petipa's Harlequinade is almost over! But if you can't wait until American Ballet Theatre officially debuts the ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House on June 6, we've got you covered. ABT brought the Harlequinade characters to life (and to the Alder Mansion in Yonkers, NY) in a short film by Ezra Hurwitz, and it's a guaranteed to make you laugh.

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Ballet Stars
DePrince soars in English National Ballet's "Giselle." Photo by Laurent Liotardo, Courtesy ENB.

As told to Amy Brandt.

Myrtha is a role I've always loved to watch, but when Tamara Rojo asked me to dance it for English National Ballet's Giselle last year as a guest artist, I thought she was crazy. The role is usually for a tall, strong dancer. I'm strong, but I'm also very petite. I thought people might criticize me for that. I also wore brown tights onstage, since I'm a brown dancer, and I was nervous people wouldn't understand that—but I got great comments on it.

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Viral Videos
Josephine Lee on the road. Photo Courtesy Lee.

Master pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee of the California-based The Pointe Shop is taking her wares on a tour of the West Coast: California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah and Nevada. Lee is visiting dance schools along the way in her mobile pointe shoe van to fit ballet students. Check out her first five vlogs from the road, filled with picturesque scenery, fun facts and fitting tips—and stay tuned for the next round.

Jeanne Robinson Dance Arts in Salinas, CA

Among the attractions in Salinas that Lee points out is the childhood home of famous novelist John Steinbeck.

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If diamonds are a girl's best friend, it's safe to say that faux-diamond earrings are a dancer's best friend. A fixture onstage at just about every competition weekend, these blinged-out baubles are also the surest sign that recital season is upon us again. And what better way to get into the sparkly spirit than by drooling over these 5 diamonds in the rough? (Sorry not sorry!)

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