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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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi Everyone,

These are challenging times. The social distancing measures brought about by COVID-19 has likely meant that your regular ballet training has been interrupted, while your performances, competitions—even auditions—have been cancelled. You may be feeling anxious about what the future holds, not only for you but for the dance industry. And that's perfectly understandable.

As you adjust to taking virtual ballet class from your living rooms, we here at Pointe are adjusting to working remotely from our living rooms. We've had to get a little creative, especially as we put our Summer Issue together, but like you we're taking full advantage of modern technology. Sure, it's a little inconvenient sometimes, but we're finding our groove.

And we know that you will, too. We've been utterly inspired by how the dance community has rallied together, from ballet stars giving online classes to companies streaming their performances to the flood of artist resources popping up. We've loved watching you dance from your kitchens. And we want to help keep this spirit alive. That's why Pointe and all of our Dance Media sister publications are working nonstop to produce and cross-post stories to help you navigate this crisis. We're all in this together.

We also want to hear from you! Send us a message on social media, or email me directly at abrandt@dancemedia.com. Tell us how you're doing, send us your ideas and show us your dance moves. Let the collective love we share for our beloved art form spark the light at the end of the tunnel—we will come out the other side soon enough.

Best wishes,

Amy

Bethany Kirby, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet

Ballet Company Costume Departments Jump Into Action, Sewing Masks for Coronavirus Aid

The novel coronavirus pandemic has forced ballet companies worldwide to cancel or postpone their seasons. But it's not just dancers and artistic staff that have found their work at a standstill. Costume departments, a vital component in bringing performances to life, have also hit pause. However, costume shops around the country, including Tulsa Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet and Miami City Ballet, have figured out a creative way to utilize their resources to give back to their communities during this challenging time. We touched base with Tulsa's team to find out what their experience has been like.

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