Costume sketches for Alexei Ratmansky's new "Harlquinade" for ABT. Courtesy ABT.

Onstage This Week: ABT's New "Harlequinade," Houston Ballet Celebrates Their Resilience Post-Hurricane, And More

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


ABT's New Harlequinade is Finally Here

The long wait for Alexei Ratmansky's Harlequinade for American Ballet Theatre is finally over. June 4-9, catch ABT at the Metropolitan Opera House in this bold and colorful tribute to the Italian commedia dell'arte traditions, based on the archival notes of Marius Petipa. If this trailer by Ezra Hurwitz is any indication, this new story ballet is sure to delight (fingers crossed that those dogs make their way to the stage).



Houston Ballet Presents Four World Premieres Celebrating the City's Resilience in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey

Houston Ballet's June 8-10 program titled Play includes two company favorites by artistic director Stanton Welch—Play and Bolero Triptych—alongside four world premieres that reflect on Houston's response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. Three of the premieres are choreographed by Welch: class is set to a selection of Bach's "Goldberg Variations," and Revisit, Rebirth, Revolt and What the H Stands For were created in collaboration with local poets Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton and Outspoken Bean, both of whom will perform live. Lastly, Houston Ballet dancers Oliver Halkowich, Melody Mennite, and Connor Walsh will present a new ballet titled What we keep.


Boston Ballet Brings Back Obsidian Tear in Their New York Philharmonic Debut

On June 8, Boston Ballet heads to NYC for a one night only performance with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center. The company will be performing Wayne McGregor's Obsidian Tear as part of a program titled Foreign Bodies, a multidisciplinary event hosted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, concluding his tenure as the Philharmonic's composer in residence. Obsidian Tear is set to two of Salonen's compositions: Nyx and Lachen verlernt. You can check out the below trailer or see more excerpts of Obsidian Tear on Boston Ballet's Youtube page.


American Contemporary Ballet Celebrates Balanchine

Every year, the Los Angeles-based ACB presents an all Balanchine program. This year, from June 7-17, they're showcasing a different side of the great neoclassical choreographer with four pieces that show off his joyful reaction to the popular music of his day. ACB will perform excerpts from Who Cares?, Stars and Stripes, Union Jack and Western Symphony. ACB artistic director Lincoln Jones will also present a world premiere tribute to the style of these works.


Pacific Northwest Ballet's Closes 2017-2018 Season With One Final Encore

On June 10, PNB presents its annual one night only encore performance with some of the company's greatest hits. This year's performance also marks the retirement of longtime PNB principal Karel Cruz. Cruz will be dancing Alexei Ratmansky's Don Quixote pas de deux alongside his wife, principal Lindsi Dec, as well an excerpt from George Balanchine's Diamonds. The program also includes excerpts from Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Jerome Robbins' West Side Story Suite, and more. The Season Encore also marks the farewell performance to soloist Matthew Renko and corps dancers Nicole Rizzitano and Carli Samuelson, who will be leaving the company at the end of the season.

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Jayme Thornton

Roman Mejia Is Carving His Own Path at New York City Ballet

In a brightly lit studio high above the busy Manhattan streets, Roman Mejia rehearses George Balanchine's Allegro Brillante. Though just 20, the New York City Ballet corps dancer exudes an easy confidence. Practicing a tricky sequence of triple pirouettes into double tours his breathing becomes labored, but his focus doesn't waver. He works until he finds the music's inherent rhythm, timing his turns evenly and finally landing them with a satisfied smile.

Since joining NYCB in 2017, Mejia has had the chance to take on ballets ranging from Romeo + Juliet to Fancy Free to Kyle Abraham's hip-hop–infused The Runaway. Though he often finds himself the youngest person in the room, Mejia is rarely intimidated. He's been immersed in ballet since birth. His father, Paul Mejia, danced with NYCB in the 1960s, and his mother, Maria Terezia Balogh, danced for Chicago City Ballet and Fort Worth-Dallas Ballet. Both of Mejia's parents and his grandmother attended the School of American Ballet. Now, Mejia is quickly building on his family's legacy, creating buzz with his shot-from-a-cannon energy, rapid-fire footwork and charismatic charm.

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Getty Images

A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi Everyone,

These are challenging times. The social distancing measures brought about by COVID-19 has likely meant that your regular ballet training has been interrupted, while your performances, competitions—even auditions—have been cancelled. You may be feeling anxious about what the future holds, not only for you but for the dance industry. And that's perfectly understandable.

As you adjust to taking virtual ballet class from your living rooms, we here at Pointe are adjusting to working remotely from our living rooms. We've had to get a little creative, especially as we put our Summer Issue together, but like you we're taking full advantage of modern technology. Sure, it's a little inconvenient sometimes, but we're finding our groove.

And we know that you will, too. We've been utterly inspired by how the dance community has rallied together, from ballet stars giving online classes to companies streaming their performances to the flood of artist resources popping up. We've loved watching you dance from your kitchens. And we want to help keep this spirit alive. That's why Pointe and all of our Dance Media sister publications are working nonstop to produce and cross-post stories to help you navigate this crisis. We're all in this together.

We also want to hear from you! Send us a message on social media, or email me directly at abrandt@dancemedia.com. Tell us how you're doing, send us your ideas and show us your dance moves. Let the collective love we share for our beloved art form spark the light at the end of the tunnel—we will come out the other side soon enough.

Best wishes,

Amy

Bethany Kirby, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet

Ballet Company Costume Departments Jump Into Action, Sewing Masks for Coronavirus Aid

The novel coronavirus pandemic has forced ballet companies worldwide to cancel or postpone their seasons. But it's not just dancers and artistic staff that have found their work at a standstill. Costume departments, a vital component in bringing performances to life, have also hit pause. However, costume shops around the country, including Tulsa Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet and Miami City Ballet, have figured out a creative way to utilize their resources to give back to their communities during this challenging time. We touched base with Tulsa's team to find out what their experience has been like.

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