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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.

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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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