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

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

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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Complexions Contemporary Ballet's Tatiana Melendez Proves There's No One Way to Have a Ballet Career

This is Pointe's Fall 2020 cover story. Click here to purchase this issue.

Talk to anyone about rising contemporary ballerina Tatiana Melendez, and one word is bound to come up repeatedly: "Fierce." And fair enough, that's a perfectly apt way to describe the 20-year-old's stage presence, her technical prowess and her determination to succeed. But don't make the mistake of assuming that fierceness is Melendez's only (or even her most noteworthy) quality. At the core of her dancing is a beautiful versatility. She's just as much at ease when etching pure classical lines as she is when boldly throwing herself off-balance.

"Selfish choreographer that I am, I want Tatiana to stay with Complexions for all time," says her boss Dwight Rhoden, Complexions Contemporary Ballet's co-artistic director and resident choreographer. "She has a theatricality about her: When the music comes on, she gets swept away." Not too shabby for someone who thought just a few years ago that maybe ballet wasn't for her.

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#TBT: Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov in "Coppélia" (1976)

Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov share the unique experience of having danced at both American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet during their careers. The two overlapped at ABT in the mid-'70s, where they developed one of the best-known partnerships in ballet. They were both celebrated for their dynamism onstage; however, in this 1976 clip of the pas de deux from Coppélia, Kirkland and Baryshnikov prove they are also masters of control.

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Natalia Voronova, Courtesy Bolshoi Ballet

The Bolshoi Is Back Onstage: We Went Inside Bryan Arias' Latest Work

This summer, when parts of the world were slowly emerging from the COVID-19 lockdown, all live performing arts events having been canceled or postponed, choreographer Bryan Arias found himself in Moscow creating a brand-new work for the Bolshoi Ballet.

Arias, who was born in Puerto Rico, grew up in New York City's Spanish Harlem, and danced with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater 2 and Kidd Pivot, had been invited by Bolshoi artistic director Makhar Vaziev to be part of an impromptu program of contemporary choreography titled Four Characters in Search of a Plot. Three other international choreographers—Martin Chaix (France), Dimo Milev (Bulgaria) and Simone Valastro (Italy)—had also been asked to participate. This program, unusual by all standards for Russia's esteemed classical ballet company, opened the Bolshoi's 245th ballet season on September 10. Eager to resume live events, the theater introduced a number of safety regulations for audience members, including limited and spaced-out seating, temperature checks upon entry and audio messages reminding patrons to wear masks and maintain social distance.

Below, Arias talks about his trip to Russia and his experience of creating his new piece, The Ninth Wave, on the Bolshoi Ballet dancers.

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