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Onstage This Week: Joyce Ballet Festival, "Don Q" Debuts and Charlotte Ballet in Chautauqua

Jane Cracovaner and Elijah Laurant with MOVETHECOMPANY, which will perform at the Joyce Ballet Festival this week. Photo Craig Foster, Courtesy Joyce Theater.

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


The Joyce Ballet Festival Is Back

New York City's Joyce Theater kicks off its five-company Ballet Festival June 26-July 7. Showcasing a variety of styles including neoclassical and contemporary dance, the festival prides itself on featuring smaller companies. Below, check out the three companies opening this week. (Feeling festive? Enter our giveaway to win tickets to the Ashley Bouder Project at the Joyce on July 5.)


Dimensions Ballet Theatre of Miami Makes Its Joyce Debut

Looking to bring a new and varied perspective on ballet to Miami, longtime Miami City Ballet stars Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra founded Dimensions Ballet Theatre of Miami in 2016. June 26-27, the company makes its Joyce debut with an exciting triple bill including a world premiere by MCB dancer Ariel Rose titled Esferas, Gerald Arpino's Light Rain and Septime Webre's Juanita y Alicia, which draws inspiration from the choreographer's childhood dancing to Cuban folk music in his family's living room.


Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY Does Edgar Allan Poe

Based in New York City and Vancouver, Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY presents the world premiere of The Masque of the Red Death June 28–29. If the title sounds familiar, it's because this ballet is based on the famous Edgar Allan Poe short story of the same name. The piece plays on the themes and images of the gothic tale in which a prince and his friends attempt to hide from a deadly plague by locking themselves in an abbey and holding a masquerade.


BalletX Gets Soulful

BalletX, a Philadelphia-based company with a focus on athleticism and innovation, takes the Joyce stage June 30–July 1. The company will dance the New York premieres of The Boogeyman by Trey McIntyre, a tribute to the 1970s Soul Train Gang with music by the likes of Marvin Gaye and Earth, Wind & Fire, and Vivir by Darrell Grand Moultrie, a ballet inspired by Spanish Harlem. BalletX will also perform company co-founder Matthew Neenan's Increasing.


Dancers Debut as Kitri and Mercedes in ABT's Don Quixote

Six weeks down and only two left to go—we can't believe that ABT's annual Met season is almost over. The company's penultimate ballet is Don Quixote. The June 25–30 run features a number of dancer debuts: Principals Hee Seo and Sarah Lane will dance Kitri, and principal Christine Shevchenko and corps dancer Zhong-Jing Fang will make their debuts as Mercedes. Next week, Alexei Ratmansky's fantastical Whipped Cream returns to the stage.


Charlotte Ballet Returns to Its Summer Home

June 24 marks the beginning of Charlotte Ballet's annual residency at the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York. Throughout the month-long stay, the company will present a series of lectures and open rehearsals as well as three programs: Charlotte Ballet with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, International Series and Made in Charlotte. This year's stay is extra special as it celebrates Charlotte Ballet's new artistic director Hope Muir's first season with the company. Enter our giveaway now to win tickets to the July 5 performance. The International Series program will feature Ohad Naharin's Minus 16; catch a glimpse below.

News
Erin Baiano, Courtesy Vail Dance Festival

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

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Ballet Training
From left: Duncan McIlwaine and Joseph Markey rehearse a new work by Gemma Bond. Rachel Papo.

The members of ABT Studio Company straddle two worlds: student and professional. On a March afternoon, as the dancers rehearse for a work choreographed by ABT dancer Gemma Bond, they appear more the former: Clean academic leotards and tights reveal coltish legs. But as soon as they launch into the piece (which later had its New York City debut at The Joyce Theater), it's evident how close these dancers are to a professional rank. Their movements and expressiveness grow bolder with each entrance. Soon they're sliding to the ground in floorwork and swirling confidently in daring lifts. "This group is particularly brilliant to work with," says Bond. "Each dancer seems to have something interesting in the way that they move, which made the creation process a little more of a collaboration than some of my other works."

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Ballet Training
Karin Ellis-Wentz and Joffrey Ballet Academy of Dance student Elliana Teuscher. Courtesy The Joffrey Ballet.

"Hopping on pointe is a bit of a weird feeling," says Karin Ellis-Wentz, head of pre-professional programs at the Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago. But, she adds, it's a skill advanced dancers need "because it's in so many variations." Here, she takes us through the techniques and exercises that help her students master this necessary trick.

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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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