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Onstage This Week: NYCB's Spring Season Opens, World Premieres at Cincinnati Ballet and Wonderbound, and More

Tiler Peck in Balanchine's "Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux." Photo by Paul Kolnik, Courtesy New York City Ballet.

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


NYCB Spring Season Opens

NYCB's 2018 Spring Season opens on April 24. The next six weeks are filled with all of what NYCB has to offer including classic works by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, world premieres by Justin Peck and Warren Carlyle (each paying tribute to Robbins), and the full-length Coppélia. April 24-28 is all Balanchine; audiences can see works including Agon, The Four Temperaments and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. April 28 also offers NYCB's 21st Century Choreographers program, which will appear again later in the month, and includes Peter Walkers' dance odyssey, Alexei Ratmansky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Justin Peck's Year of the Rabbit. Below, Tiler Peck discusses what Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux means to her—she'll be dancing the work April 25 with Joaquin De Luz.


Bold Moves at Cincinnati Ballet

This three-part program running April 26-29 features world premieres by contemporary choreographers Jennifer Archibald and Kate Weare as well as the company premiere of Justin Peck's Murder Ballades (set on the company by Patricia Delgado). Archibald is the company's resident choreographer (the first woman to hold that title in its 40-year history). With a body of work ranging from hip-hop to ballet, we're excited to see what this new piece will bring.



Wonderbound Presents a Zany Take on Mozart

The Denver-based company debuts Madness, Rack and Honey April 27–May 6 with live music by the Colorado Symphony. The program is comprised of two works, both to Mozart. Garret Ammon's Madness, Rack and Honey opens the program—the title comes from the a collection of lectures by the poet Mary Ruefle. Ammon made the piece for Smuin Ballet in 2016. Company dancer Sarah Tallman's world premiere titled I Didn't Hear You, I Was Away with the Fairies also pulls from poetry (namely Langston Hughes and E.E. Cummings). Catch a glimpse in the below trailer.



World Premiere at New York Theatre Ballet

April 27-29, New York Theatre Ballet presents a world premiere by British choreographer Richard Alston alongside encore performances of three rarely seen Jerome Robbins ballets—Septet, Concertino and Rondo—in honor of his centennial. With live music throughout, the program, held at Florence Gould Hall in NYC, is sure to excite. Alston's The Seasons is described as a meditation on the cycle of a year in nature, with inspiration from Indian philosophical thought.


Charlotte Ballet Beckons In the Spring

Charlotte Ballet's April 26-28 Spring Works program features works by three choreographers new to the company: former Charlotte Ballet dancer Bryan Arias, Helen Pickett and Filipe Portugal (this program marks his North American choreographic debut). Also on the program is Ohad Naharin's Minus 16. You can check out why the dancers are excited about Spring Works in this article, and catch a glimpse of Minus 16 in fast-paced trailer below.


Festival Ballet Providence Goes Under the Sea

Festival Ballet Providence presents its season finale April 27-29. Mark Diamond's Little Mermaid will incorporate multi-media elements and delve into the famous fairy tale with a full cast of characters, including students from the Festival Ballet Providence School. The show also marks the final performance for company dancer Alan Alberto. Check out these whimsical costumes and sets in the below trailer.


Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève is in NYC

The Switzerland-based contemporary ballet company returns to NYC's Joyce Theater April 24-29 with Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidberg's full-length ballet Une Autre Passion, an abstract take on Bach's Saint Matthew Passion.


Tudor, Balanchine and Ashton at Sarasota Ballet

Closing out their 2017-2018 season, Sarasota Ballet presents Great Masters of Dance April 27-28. The program features four works: Antony Tudor's The Leaves Are Fading, George Balanchine's Bugaku and Tarantella, and Sir Frederick Ashton's Marguerite and Armand. Balanchine originally choreographed Bugaku for New York City Ballet in 1963; it portrays a Japanese wedding ceremony, paying tribute to the refined elegance of Japanese music and dance. Principal Logan Learned will be dancing Tarantella in his farewell performance with the company.

Ellen Overstreet and Ricardo Rhodes in "Bugaku." Photo by Frank Atura, Courtesy Sarasota Ballet.

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Left: Misa Kuranaga in The Veritginous Thrill of Exactitude. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy Boston Ballet. Right: Sasha Mukhamedov in Apollo. Altin Kaftira, Courtesy Dutch National Ballet.

San Francisco Ballet just announced some major news: longtime Boston Ballet star Misa Kuranaga will be joining the company as a principal dancer for the 2019-20 season, while Dutch National Ballet principal Sasha Mukhamedov will join as a soloist. They join a slew of newly promoted SFB principals and soloists, announced earlier this year.

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The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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Xiao Nan Yu in company class. Aaron Vincent, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada.

On June 22, National Ballet of Canada principal Xiao Nan Yu will retire from the stage after 22 years with the company. Originally from Dalian, China, Yu studied at the Shen Yang School of Dance and the Beijing Dance Academy before coming to Canada's National Ballet School at age 17. She joined the National Ballet of Canada less than two years later, and was promoted to principal in 2001.

"She is a supreme dance actress with an innate ability to bring the audience into her world," says NBoC artistic director Karen Kain. "Nan has always brought such a calm confidence into the studio and has been a role model for so many dancers I will miss her generosity both inside the studio and out." We spoke with Yu as she prepared for her final week of performances. She opened up about her initial culture shock upon moving to Toronto, her thoughts on artistry and why she chose Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow as her final role.

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Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT

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

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