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

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

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.

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Ethan Ahuero was having a good year: he was in his first season dancing with Kansas City Ballet II and had been presented with the opportunity to choreograph on the second company. "The day before we shut down I had a rehearsal, and I was so happy," Ahuero says. "The piece was coming together and this was the first time I felt really proud of my creative process."

Suddenly, the coronavirus pandemic brought everything to a halt. With the company's season cut short and the studios closed, Ahuero found himself attempting to continue dancing from home, with his choreography project put on hold. Like many other dancers around the world, Ahuero is dealing with disappointment while struggling to stay motivated.

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Isabella Boylston has been teaching on Zoom for Universal Ballet Competition, as well as on Instagram Live. (Courtesy Boylston)

(Virtual) Dancing with the Stars: How to Get the Most Out of Online Classes with Dance Celebs

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"Students can learn so much from working with the pros directly," says American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who teaches on Zoom through Universal Ballet Competition as well as offering the Cindies Ballet Class on Instagram Live with fellow ABT principal James Whiteside. "It's inspiring and eye-opening to connect with dancers all over the world."

So what benefits do these virtual master classes offer? How do they fit into your overall training regimen? And how do you even navigate all of the content that's out there? Read on for advice from the pros.

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Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 5/27/2020

Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

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