News

Onstage This Week: ABT Brings "La Bayadère" to LA, BalletX's Summer Series Starts, and More!

BalletX launches its summer season on July 11. Photo by Gabriel Biencyzcki, Courtesy of BalletX.

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


Three World Premieres at BalletX Philadelphia Summer Series

Fresh off the heels of its Joyce Ballet Festival performances in New York, BalletX is launching its Summer Series with a trio of world premieres on July 11. The program, which runs through July 22 at The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, features ballets by Penny Saunders, choreographer in residence for Grand Rapids Ballet; Andrew McNicol, BalletX's 2018 choreographic fellow; and Matthew Neenan, BalletX co-founder and company choreographer. Pennsylvania Ballet principal pianist Martha Koeneman will perform Mendelssohn's Songs without Words live for Neenan's work, which shows dancers attempting to solve a mysterious puzzle onstage. McNicol is inspired by Mozart's Requiem and his appreciation of the speed and athleticism of American dance. Saunders' piece will be accompanied by an original composition by Rosie Langabeer, a Philadelphia composer originally from New Zealand. Listen to the pair discuss the collaboration in the video below.



Catch ABT in Los Angeles With La Bayadère

Directly following its New York Met season, American Ballet Theatre brings Natalia Makarova's staging of the Petipa classic La Bayadère to The Music Center in Los Angeles July 13-15. Over the weekend, West Coast role debuts will include Isabella Boylston as Nikiya, Joo Won Ahn as Solor and Christine Shevchenko as Gamzatti.


Les Ballets de Monte Carlo Pays Tribute to Filmmaker Ingmar Bergman

The Monaco-based Les Ballets de Monte Carlo will present a three-piece tribute to Swedish director/writer/producer Ingmar Bergman July 12-14 at the Salle Garnier Monte Carlo Opera. The program, made up of works from Swedish choreographers Mats Ek, Alexander Ekman and Johan Inger, premiered at the 2018 Bergman Festival in Stockholm and the company has since toured it around Europe. Ek's duet, Memory, is a rare opportunity to see the celebrated choreographer perform a duet with his wife, former Cullberg Ballet dancer Ana Laguna. Completing the night are Thoughts on Bergman, a solo choreographed and performed by Ekman and 4 Karin, a highly theatrical tribute from Inger. The three pieces are inspired by the work of Bergman and his ability to portray human behavior and family dynamics on the stage and screen. Preview the program below.


Aspen Santa Fe Brings Its Summer Season to Santa Fe

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet heads to Santa Fe for one night on July 14 with a performance of three ballets. The program features the second performance of a new work by Bryan Arias, Alexander Ekman's Tuplet and Sleepless by Jiří Kylián.

The Conversation
Ballet Stars
Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB

Your teacher at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Marcia Dale Weary, recently passed away. What impact did she have on you?

I feel deeply indebted to her. She shaped my life's course, and I know that were it not for her, I would not be living out my dream today. She led by example through her remarkable commitment to her work, as well as her genuine kindness and generosity.

You were a trainee with San Francisco Ballet. What was that experience like?

It was an exposure to different schools of thought. We were mostly in the full-lengths, and watching run-throughs of Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote was revolutionary for me. But I was young and far away from home. That transition was hard. My body started changing. It wanted to be fleshy. Biology is cruel in that way. I desperately wanted to fit in, but it wasn't meant to be.

Keep reading... Show less
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?

Keep reading... Show less
Site Network
Left: Misa Kuranaga in The Veritginous Thrill of Exactitude. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy Boston Ballet. Right: Sasha Mukhamedov in Apollo. Altin Kaftira, Courtesy Dutch National Ballet.

San Francisco Ballet just announced some major news: longtime Boston Ballet star Misa Kuranaga will be joining the company as a principal dancer for the 2019-20 season, while Dutch National Ballet principal Sasha Mukhamedov has been hired as a soloist. They join a slew of newly promoted SFB principals and soloists, announced earlier this year.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Xiao Nan Yu in company class. Aaron Vincent, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada.

On June 22, National Ballet of Canada principal Xiao Nan Yu will retire from the stage after 22 years with the company. Originally from Dalian, China, Yu studied at the Shen Yang School of Dance and the Beijing Dance Academy before coming to Canada's National Ballet School at age 17. She joined the National Ballet of Canada less than two years later, and was promoted to principal in 2001.

"She is a supreme dance actress with an innate ability to bring the audience into her world," says NBoC artistic director Karen Kain. "Nan has always brought such a calm confidence into the studio and has been a role model for so many dancers I will miss her generosity both inside the studio and out." We spoke with Yu as she prepared for her final week of performances. She opened up about her initial culture shock upon moving to Toronto, her thoughts on artistry and why she chose Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow as her final role.

Keep reading... Show less