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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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Gene Schiavone, Courtesy Boston Ballet

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

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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Kevin Lloyd Photography, Courtesy Ballet Jörgen

Canada's Ballet Jörgen is committed to telling Canadian stories by Canadian choreographers. For its next full-length ballet, director Bengt Jörgen turned to what he calls "perhaps the most quintessential Canadian story" of all time: Lucy Maud Montgomery's beloved 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, about the flame-haired, precocious orphan Anne Shirley. Jörgen is choreographing the work, which will debut in Halifax, Nova Scotia (not far from Anne's fictional home in Avonlea, Prince Edward Island), on September 28 before embarking on a two-year tour of Canada and the U.S.

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Original photos: Getty Images

We've been dying to hear more about "On Pointe," a docuseries following students at the School of American Ballet, since we first got wind of the project this spring. Now—finally!—we know where this can't-miss show is going to live: It was just announced that Disney+, the new streaming service set to launch November 12, has ordered the series.

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