Dancers of The Washington Ballet. Photo by Dean Alexander, Courtesy TWB.

Onstage This Week: The Washington Ballet Welcomes Guest Stars, World Premieres in Sacramento and Phoenix, and More!

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


The Washington Ballet Brings in Guest Stars Including Marcelo Gomes and Stella Abrera

The Washington Ballet's 2018/19 season opens September 26-30 at the Kennedy Center with a mixed bill titled TWB Welcomes, designed to show a range of classical ballet from the last century. TWB presents two programs: The first features George Balanchine's Serenade and Alexei Ratmansky's Bolero, and the second includes Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Sombrerisimo and Michel Fokine's Les Sylphides. Both include three iconic pas de deux: Marius Petipa's Black Swan, Ratmansky's Seven Sonatas and Balanchine's Tarantella. For this run, artistic director Julie Kent invited four guest artists to join the company: Former American Ballet Theatre principal Marcelo Gomes, ABT principal Stella Abrera, Ballet Manila principal Katherine Barkman and Houston Ballet principal Connor Walsh. Above, check out a clip of Barkman preparing for her Tarantella debut.

Sacramento Ballet's Season Opener Includes World Premiere by Penny Saunders

Sacramento Ballet opens its first season under the leadership of new artistic director Amy Seiwert September 27-30 at The Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts. Titled Telling Stories, the program includes former director Ron Cunningham's Incident at Blackbriar, Adam Hougland's Cigarettes, Seiwert's Instructions and a world premiere by Penny Saunders to the music of Nick Drake. Above, Saunders explains how she's using Drake's melancholy and evocative music to do just what the program's title suggests: Tell stories.

Ballet Arizona Presents World Premiere by Company Dancer Nayon Iovino 

Ballet Arizona's New Moves program asks audiences to "expect the unexpected." Running September 27-30 at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix, the program includes artistic director Ib Andersen's Rio, the Arizona premiere of Justin Peck's In Creases and a world premiere by Ballet Arizona's Nayon Iovino's Inherent. Iovino was just accepted into the New York Choreographic Institute for spring of 2019; see excerpts from his new ballet above.

The Queen of the Nile Comes to Life in Texas

Texas Ballet Theater artistic director Ben Stevenson's full-length ballet Cleopatra runs September 28-30 at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth. With music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov performed live by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, this tale of love and trickery is sure to enthrall audiences. Leading up to the performance, TBT is releasing a series of fun facts about Cleopatra on Instagram (did you know she spoke nine languages?)

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Vikki Sloviter

Sydney Dolan Takes Center Stage at Pennsylvania Ballet

This is Pointe's Summer 2020 cover story. You can subscribe to the magazine here, or click here to purchase this issue.

Just days before the world shuttered under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic, and the curtain came down indefinitely on dance companies everywhere, Pennsylvania Ballet soloist Sydney Dolan debuted Gamzatti in La Bayadère with captivating ease. Her jumps soared, her technique was sound, and her cheeky smile paired with exquisite port de bras was beguiling. Though she didn't know the company would soon cancel the remainder of its season, her beautiful performance acted as a kind of send-off into the unknown.

Dolan's career could be described in one word: charmed. At just 19 years old, she's flown through the ranks at PAB, debuted a long list of roles, won a Princess Grace Award and been named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch." Yet it's her challenges that have shaped not only her training but her outlook, giving her a solid foundation for becoming one of Pennsylvania Ballet's rising stars.

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Courtesy Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Alonzo King LINES Ballet Reconnects with Nature in This 5-Part Video Series

Earlier this month, Alonzo King LINES Ballet released the first in a series of five dance films, part of a new project entitled "There Is No Standing Still." The series features company members spanning 10 cities and four continents dancing amid their outdoor environments, in spaces ranging from quiet forests to rocky deserts to the ocean shore. While COVID-19 has put the company's normal activity on hold and forced the dancers to separate from each other physically, "There Is No Standing Still" allows LINES to create new material together in a different way. Directed by Robert Rosenwasser and edited by Philip Perkins, this installment of five short films incorporates choreography by artistic director Alonzo King and company dancers as they become one with the space around them. Check out the first two, released last month, below.

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VAM/Siggul, Courtesy YAGP

YAGP Has Announced the Winners of the 2020 Pas De Deux Virtual Competition

Last weekend, Youth America Grand Prix took to the internet, hosting its first virtual pas de deux competition. Over the course of three days, YAGP streamed videos from its regional events' highest-ranked competitors for a panel of esteemed judges. And, drum roll please... YAGP has just announced the winners, spanning three categories: Senior Classical, Junior Classical and Contemporary.

You can watch the full virtual awards ceremony, hosted by YAGP director of external affairs Sergey Gordeev, below, or scroll down for the list of winners. And if you're missing the thrill of competition, don't fear: Gordeev announced that registration for the 2021 season will open on July 10, with both in-person and virtual options available.

Congratulations to all!

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