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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
Hamrick rehearsing Port Rouge in St. Petersburg. Photo courtesy Hamrick

Choosing music for your first-ever choreography commission can feel daunting enough. But when you're asked to create a ballet using the vast discography of the Rolling Stones—and you happen to be dating Stones frontman Mick Jagger—the stakes are even higher.

So it's understandable that as of Monday, American Ballet Theatre corps de ballet dancer Melanie Hamrick, whose Port Rouge will have its U.S. premiere tonight at the Youth American Grand Prix gala, was still torn about which songs to include.

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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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Ballet Stars
Royes Fernandez and Maria Tallchief in "Les Sylphides." Captured via YouTube.

In the early years of professional ballet in the United States, influential American dancers played key roles in changing perspectives of ballet as a strictly European art form. Maria Tallchief and Royes Fernandez were among those dancers who helped establish and define an American ballet aesthetic and identity: she as the original prima ballerina of New York City Ballet and he as American Ballet Theatre's Siegfried in the company's first full-length production of Swan Lake. These two exceptional performers are mesmerizing together in this 1963 excerpt from Fokine's Les Sylphide.

Maria Tallchief, Royes Fernandez - Excerpt from 'Les Sylphides' www.youtube.com

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News
She's back! (Erin Baiano)

Congratulations are in order for Kathryn Morgan! After a long struggle with hypothyroidism, which led to the ballerina's resignation from New York City Ballet in 2012, Morgan is now set to dive back into full-time professional dance as a soloist at Miami City Ballet.

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