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Onstage This Week: Boston Ballet Celebrates Jerome Robbins, Island Moving Company Performs "Peter Pan" Ballet on a Ship, And More!

Boston Ballet in Jerome Robbins' Fancy Free. Photo by Gene Schiavone, Courtesy Boston Ballet.

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


Boston Ballet's Season Opener Celebrates Jerome Robbins' Centennial

Though we're sad to see summer come to an end, we couldn't be happier to see companies back in season and back on the stage. Boston Ballet opens their 2018/2019 season September 6-16 with Genius at Play, a celebration of Jerome Robbins' centennial. The program features a range of Robbins' most loved works: Interplay, to music by Morton Gould, Fancy Free, the first of Robbins' many collaborations with Leonard Bernstein, and the company premiere of Glass Pieces to a score by Philip Glass.

Ballet Memphis Opens Its 30th Anniversary Season 

Ballet Memphis enters its 30th anniversary season September 8-9 with a program titled Shelter, featuring Julia Adam's Devil's Fruit, Uri Sand's Salve and a world premiere by company ballet master Brian McSween. The title of the bill refers to Ballet Memphis' new building, finished in 2017, and the sense of shelter that it aims to provide for the city's dance community.

Island Moving Company's Site Specific "Peter Pan"... On a Tall Ship 

September 6-9, Island Moving Company is bringing their full-length Peter Pan story ballet to a very different kind of stage, ahem, boat. The Rhode Island-based company will present Second Star to the Right: A Tale of Hook and Pan on the decks and rigging of the tall ship Oliver Hazard Perry and the surrounding docks of Fort Adams. IMC has a tradition of site-specific works: Their repertoire includes Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff, set in a mansion, and Dracula at Belcourt Castle. The company made a series of trailers highlighting different characters in the ballet; check out Peter Pan's above, and click here for more on Wendy, Captain Hook and more.

The Conversation
Viral Videos
Brittany Cavaco in Until Midnight. Claire Morris, Courtesy Cavaco.

A white tulle dress, time travel, the Eiffel Tower at night... these elements come together in Until Midnight, a new dance film by Christopher Alexander of Zen Film Works. This eight-minute long vignette opens with Louise (played by Louise Schirmer), a former ballerina now living alone in old age. Through the delivery of a mysterious letter and a wristwatch from her past, she returns briefly to her youthful self, danced by former Washington Ballet dancer Brittany Cavaco. In a Cinderella-like twist, Louise has until midnight to find her beloved Jean Pierre (Sebastien Thill, former dancer with Paris Opera Ballet and Hamburg Ballet) for one last dance. According to Cavaco, all of the movement was improvised, created by herself and Alexander in each location.

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Ballet Training
Peter Boal in class a New York City Center. Courtesy PNB.

"People have so much fear associated with arabesque turns," says Peter Boal, artistic director of Pacific Northwest Ballet. Here, he shares images and ideas to help you confidently master this advanced pirouette. "It's a real accomplishment when you can put it all together."

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News
Ashley Bouder in George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova's Coppélia. Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB.

Hollywood may have the Oscars, but ballet has the Prix de Benois de la Danse. Held every spring at Moscow's Bolshoi Theater, the prestigious international awards ceremony recognizes dancers, choreographers, composers and designers for their extraordinary work on and off the stage. This year's laureates, chosen by a jury, were announced during an awards ceremony last night, followed by a star-studded gala featuring many of the nominated artists.

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Viral Videos
Still via YouTube

American Ballet Theatre principal James Whiteside is known for more than just his uber-charismatic presence on the ballet stage; He doubles as both the drag queen Ühu Betch and the pop star JbDubs. Whiteside's newest musical release, titled WTF, came out last week, and is for sure his most ballet-filled song to date. Both the lyrics and the choreography are jam-packed with bunhead references, from the Rose Adagio to Haglund's Heel to a framed portrait of George Balanchine. Not to mention the fact that he and his four backup dancers (Matthew Poppe, Douane Gosa, Maxfield Haynes and Gianni Goffredo) absolutely kill it in pointe shoes.

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