Isabella Boylston and Calvin Royal III at Ballet Sun Valley in 2017. Photo by Steve Dondero, Courtesy Ballet Sun Valley.

Onstage This Week: Isabella Boylston's Ballet Sun Valley Festival Returns With An All-Star Lineup, NYCB Heads Upstate and More!

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


Isabella Boylston Curates Her Second Hometown Ballet Festival

American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston moonlights as artistic director of Ballet Sun Valley, which she founded last year. The second annual festival will run July 17–18 in Sun Valley, Idaho, Boylston's hometown. Boylston has created two programs composed of pas de deux and solo pieces from choreographers including George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and William Forsythe, as well as Justin Peck's In Creases, the one work for a larger ensemble.

The festival brings together some of the brightest stars in the ballet world. Amongst Boylston's ABT colleagues are her bestie Lauren Post, fellow Cindy James Whiteside, and primas Misty Copeland and Gillian Murphy. The cast also features New York City Ballet's Tiler Peck, San Francisco Ballet's Dores André, Royal Danish Ballet's Ida Praetorius, Paris Opéra Ballet's Germain Louvet and more. See the full cast list or list of dancers here.

Like last year, the festival will be followed by an education day July 19, during which community members can take a range of dance classes, including one designed for those with special needs, taught by the participating dancers.


NYCB Heads Upstate to Its Summer Home

New York City Ballet returns to its longtime summer home this week in Saratoga Springs, New York. Although the engagement is short this year (at its peak, NYCB stayed for four weeks, but the appearance was cut to one week in 2017), a variety of ballets will still be on display. The July 17-21 run includes performances of Peter Martins' Romeo + Juliet; a lineup featuring Balanchine's Square Dance, The Four Temperaments and Symphony in C; and a night of 21st-century choreographers with Easy and Pulcinella Variations, by Justin Peck, Composer's Holiday by Gianna Reisen and Not Our Fate by Lauren Lovette. The week will end with a gala celebrating Jerome Robbins' centennial, including Robbins classics and Something to Dance About, a collection of the master dancemaker's musical theater choreography assembled by Warren Carlyle.


Island Moving Co. Hosts Its Ninth Summer Festival in Newport, RI

Island Moving Co.'s a Great Friends Dance Festival returns July 18–22 Newport, RI, with a mix of six small guest dance companies, specializing in contemporary dance and ballet. At least a dozen new pieces have been choreographed for the festival, and each night is preceded by an étude, a work that was choreographed and rehearsed the same day by festival participants. This year's resident dance company is Pittsburgh-based STAYCEE PEARL dance project, which uses multimedia, like video, to enhance its performances. Also appearing are Breathing Arts Company from Bari, Italy; carolyn dorfman dance from Union, NJ; CONTINUUM Contemporary/Ballet and Lotería Performing Arts from New York City; and Thomas/Ortiz Dance from New Canaan, CT. Watch Island Moving Co. rehearse Miki Ohlsen's A Tessellation of Beauty and Light below, which will be part of the festival.


Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami Presents the Ballet of Wo(Men)

Hot off its tours of Jacob's Pillow and New York City's Joyce Theater, Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami will perform Ballet of Wo(Men), a program of four ballets, at South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center on July 21. The night features two Balanchine works, Tarantella and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, as well as Imagined Notions by Yanis Pikieris and Leonardo Reale's Tangos de La Plata. Billed as "his & hers," the program celebrates 20th- and 21st-century choreography in which the men and women share equal dominance. Oddly, no choreography by women will be featured. "With this program, we are celebrating gender 'equality' and a sort of magic that happens when choreography affords them the ability to flaunt their comparable might and mastery side by side," artistic director Jennifer Kronenberg told Pointe in an email. Watch the company's season trailer below.

Latest Posts


James Barkley, Courtesy Dance for Change

Take Class From Celebrated Black Dancers and Raise Money for the NAACP Through Dance for Change

Since the nationwide fight against racial inequality took center stage in May, organizations across the dance world have been looking for meaningful ways to show their support, rather than fall back on empty social media signifiers. July 10-11, Diamante Ballet Dancewear is taking action with Dance for Change, a two-day event dedicated to fundraising for the NAACP, and amplifying the voices of Black professional dancers.

Organized by Diamante Ballet Dancewear's founder, Nashville Ballet 2 dancer Isichel Perez, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre teacher Elise Gillum, Dance for Change makes it easy to participate. Dancers need only to make a donation to the NAACP (in any amount) and email proof to diamante.ballet@gmail.com to be given online access to a full schedule of Zoom master classes taught by Black pros artists. Teachers include Ballet Memphis' George Sanders, Boston Ballet's Daniel Durrett, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Corey Bourbonniere, and more. "It's important that we amplify BIPOC voices during this time, and it's also important that we're conscious of where we're putting our dollars," says Bourbonniere. "Diamante is doing both with Dance for Change, and I'm honored to be in this talented group of melanated dancers."

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Houston Ballet's "Dancing With Myself" Captures How We All Feel Right Now

What are dancers to do when they're still stuck at home in isolation? After all, there's only so much time you can spend taking barre, tackling your reading list (or Netflix queue) or ticking items off your to-do list. Even wistfully looking out the window has lost its appeal after a few months.

That's when you need a dance party—even it's for a party of one.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

"Our Studio Is Failing Its Students of Color": One Dancer's Experience of Racism and Microaggressions

I recently spent a Saturday night with my husband and my 17-year-old dancing daughter, who sobbed at the foot of our bed. My daughter revealed her experiences with implicit bias and overt racism in school, and especially in the dance studio.

For six years, she has danced at a classical ballet school tied to the city's ballet company. The previous six years were spent at a mid-sized recreational/competition studio. I want to recount a few examples of the racism that my daughter shared that night.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks