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Onstage This Week: Shades, Swans, Wilis and More!

PNB in Justin Peck's "Year of the Rabbit." Photo by Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB.

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


Ballet Nacional de Cuba Continues U.S. Tour at the Kennedy Center

A few weeks ago we shared that the historic Ballet Nacional de Cuba is back in the U.S. after 40 years. The company has already made stops in Chicago and Tampa, and heads to The Kennedy Center May 29-June 2 as part of the Artes de Cuba festival with performances of Giselle and Don Quixote. The tour will conclude at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center June 6-8. Whether or not the company is heading to a city near you, you can catch a glimpse of Don Q in the below trailer.



Dancers Make Debuts in ABT's La Bayadère

American Ballet Theatre continues their Met Opera season this week with La Bayadère. The run is marked by a number of exciting debuts and guest appearances. To start with, The Mariinsky's Kimin Kim will be guest starring in the role of Solor on May 29 and June 1. ABT principals Devon Teuscher, Sarah Lane and Isabella Boylston will be making their debuts as Nikiya, corps dancer Joo Won Ahn and principal Jeffery Cirio will be debuting as Solor, and Christine Shevchenko, Skyler Brandt and Cassandra Trenary will be making debuts as Gamzatti. Check out the full list of casting here, and catch a glimpse at the Kingdom of the Shades below.


Swan Lake at Milwaukee Ballet and Texas Ballet Theater

Milwaukee Ballet artistic director Michael Pink's staging of Swan Lake returns May 31-June 2. Leading artist Annia Hidalgo, who will be dancing the role of Odile during select matinees, practiced her fouettés on camera (feel free to count along). Are you a Texas-based lover of Swan Lake? Texas Ballet Theater continues their run of the classic ballet June 1-3 in Dallas.


Love & Ballet at PNB

Pacific Northwest Ballet takes the stage in Seattle June 1-10 with four contemporary hits: Christopher Wheeldon's Tide Harmonic and After the Rain pas de deux, Benjamin Millepied's Appassionata and Justin Peck's Year of the Rabbit. In the below video, PNB soloist Angelica Generosa talks about the experience of working with Peck on Year of the Rabbit after having had excerpts of the ballet created on her and her classmates at School of American in Ballet in 2010 (it was Peck's first venture into choreography). We're also giving away a pair of tickets to the June 7 performance of Love & Ballet. Enter now!

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Sarasota Ballet's Kate Honea and Ricardo Graziano in Balanchine's Western Symphony. Frank Atura, Courtesy Sarasota Ballet.

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

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Rachel Neville, Courtesy Audition Dancewear

When you dig through your collection of leotards before class, do you ever think about how they're made, or what they're made from? Chances are, most dancers don't, and Audition Dancewear wants to do something about that.

The company—run by two mother-daughter duos, Kathy and Caroline Perry and Shelly and Suzanna Lathrum—has begun making leotards from recycled materials to reduce their carbon footprint and raise awareness around plastic consumption. The result is a sleek line of leos that don't sacrifice style or function, and that use four or five recycled water bottles per leo.

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Buying your first pair of pointe shoes is a huge milestone. Below, ThePointeShop's Josephine Lee gives some of her top tips on finding the best fit for first time pointe shoe wearers.

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Sponsored by The Rock School
From left: Sarah Lapointe, Derek Dunn and Jeanette Kakareka. Courtesy The Rock School

For more than five decades, The Rock School for Dance Education has been launching young dancers into professional ballet careers around the globe. Boasting distinguished alumni such as Beckanne Sisk, Michaela DePrince and Taylor Stanley, the Philadelphia-based institution has garnered a well-deserved reputation for pairing rigorous training with a tight-knit, welcoming community. Their summer intensives are no different, with a wealth of prestigious faculty members, many of whom are Rock School alums currently dancing at companies around the world.

What inspires busy pros to keep returning to their alma mater? We talked to three of The Rock School's buzziest alums about why they make it a priority to come back and teach:

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