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Onstage This Week: ABT's Met Season Opens with "Giselle," Ballet West's National Choreographic Festival Celebrates Women Leaders, And More

Artists of Ballet West. Photo by Beau Pearson, Courtesy Ballet West.

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


ABT Met Opera Season Opens with Giselle

This week American Ballet Theatre moves into the Metropolitan Opera House for their annual 8-week season. From Alexei Ratmansky's new Harlequinade to the world premiere of AFTERITE by Wayne McGregor, this season is packed. But week one opens with a classic: Giselle. Though a number of ABT's most celebrated dancers will have their turn in the lead roles this week, the May 18th performance will be danced by guest star Natalia Osipova in the title role opposite ABT principal David Hallberg as Albrecht.


Ballet West National Choreographic Festival Celebrates Women in Ballet Leadership Roles

Last year, Ballet West debuted their National Choreographic Festival. This year, the festival is back, but with a new twist: All of the pieces are by female choreographers and all of the invited companies are run by female directors. Starting on May 17, the festival runs over two consecutive weekends and features four companies alongside Ballet West: Richmond Ballet, The Washington Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet and Charlotte Ballet. The first weekend includes Richmond Ballet in Akwarium by Katarzyna Skarpetowska, The Washington Ballet in Gemma Bond's MYRIAD, and Ballet West in Natalie Weir's Jabula. Catch a sneak peek in the below video.


World Premiere by Ib Andersen at Ballet Arizona

From May 15-June 2, audiences can catch Ballet Arizona in Eroica, a new work by artistic director Ib Andersen to Beethoven's Third Symphony. Performances are held outdoors at the Desert Botanical Garden, with striking views of the night sky and Arizona desert as a background.


Indianapolis Ballet Closes Its Debut Season

Indianapolis Ballet's debut season closes May 18-20 with three works: Don Quixote Grand Pas de Deux, artistic director Victoria Lyras' A Midsummer Night's Dream and Éclat!, a new ballet by Lyras to Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major.


World Premiere by Tom Gold for New York Theatre Ballet at Boston's Gardner Museum

On May 17, New York Theatre Ballet will head to Boston to perform a program titled The Classical World in Modern Choreography at the Gardner Museum. The performance takes place in conjuncture with the exhibition of the antiquarian marble Farnese Sarcophagus (see it here) which includes imagery referencing the myth of Dionysus and Ariadne. NYTB will perform Vaslav Nijinsky's Afternoon of a Faun, Jerome Robbins Antique Epigraphs and a world premiere by Tom Gold titled Blind Revelry. Gold's work places the tale of Dionysus and Ariadne in modern times, set to music by Stephen Sondheim.

The Conversation
Summer Intensive Survival
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It is easy to feel as though the entire ballet year revolves around summer: more hours in the day for dance, and another summer intensive to add to your resumé. You've likely dreamt about which program you want to attend, traveled to auditions and gotten excited about the new challenges in a big city school. But what if you find yourself staying home?

It can feel heartbreaking to watch your peers take off for their intensives. Whether you're staying home by choice or because of injury or finances, you can still improve and have fun at your local studio. Unlike those headed off to big intensives, you have flexibility and money on your side. Jody Skye Schissler, owner of Skye Ballet Center in Herndon, Virginia, encourages dancers to start by asking, "How can you make your summer more focused on yourself and what you need for your future?" Here are tips for making the most of your time at home.

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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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Ballet Stars
Royal Ballet principal Steven McRae with his kids. Via Instagram.

With Father's Day just around the corner, we wanted to take a minute to acknowledge some of the dancer dads out there who are doing double duty at home and onstage. So in between feting the father figures in your life this weekend (and thanking them for sitting through countless hours of dance recitals throughout the course of your lives), check out these eight ballet dads below.

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Ballet Stars
Antonio Carmena (right) coaches a Barnard College student. Photo by Marcus Salazar, courtesy Carmena.

Some ballet dancers, the lucky ones at least, get to enjoy long, successful careers. Yet their dancing schedule usually allows little time for anything else. At New York City Ballet, for instance, most dancers don't have secondary jobs on the side, although layoffs between seasons provide short opportunities to flex new muscles, like teaching. But performance careers inevitably come to an end, and dancers must then "become" something else.

When former NYCB soloist Antonio Carmena retired from the company in 2017, he realized he wasn't quite prepared for the next step. His retirement uncovered an insecurity buried deep within him—that without dance, he wasn't "good" at anything anymore. It's taken two years for Carmena to develop more work experience as he searches for a new place for himself in the dance world. And while he admits it's an ongoing journey, the pieces are finally starting to come together.

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