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Onstage This Week: Houston Ballet's "Sylvia," World Premieres at Complexions Contemporary Ballet and BalletNext, and More!

Artists of Houston Ballet rehearsing Stanton Welch's Sylvia. Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

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


Houston Ballet's New Full Length Story Ballet, "Sylvia," Has Its World Premiere

This week, Houston Ballet is putting its stamp on an old classic with the premiere of a brand-new story ballet. Artistic director Stanton Welch's Sylvia makes its debut February 21–March 3. Welch includes other narratives from Greek mythology in his retelling of the determined huntress' story, set to Léo Delibes' famous score with designs by Jerome Kaplan and projections by Wendall K. Harrington.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary at The Joyce Theater

Complexions Contemporary Ballet is back at New York City's Joyce Theater February 19-March 3 with three separate programs celebrating the company's 25th anniversary. The season includes the world premiere of company co-founder and choreographer Dwight Rhoden's WOKE set to a remix of music by Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Logic, Diplo and more, as well as the New York premiere of Rhoden's Bach 25 and audience favorites Star Dust and From Then to Now.

Tulsa Ballet Brings Back "The Sleeping Beauty"

February 21-24, Tulsa Ballet brings back a classic: The Sleeping Beauty. Artistic director Marcello Angelini restaged and re-choreographed sections of Marius Petipa's famous ballet; you can hear him talk about the timelessness of the work in the above video.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Returns to Its Santa Fe Home

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is back in its Santa Fe home this week with a one-night-only performance of fan favorites on February 23. The program includes Alexander Ekman's Tuplet, Fernando Melo's Dream Play and Jorma Elo's 1st Flash. Check out a glimpse of Dream Play above.

BalletNext Showcases Three New Ballets by Michele Wiles in NYC

BalletNext artistic director Michele Wiles' presents three new ballets at New York City's New York Live Arts February 19-23 with a new crop of dancers from University of Utah's ballet program (where Wiles is a visiting professor). Wiles will also perform, joined by principal guest artists Amar Ramasar, Maria Kowroski, and others. This performance will mark Ramasar's first performance in the U.S. since being fired from New York City Ballet last fall.

Ballets des Amériques Onstage in Westchester, NY

Westchester, NY-based company Ballets des Amériques continues its new performance series titled Westchester Wednesday Dance at Tarrytown Music Hall on February 20. The company will present three works by its artistic director, Carole Alexis: Flowers and Tears, Boléro and Lentil Soup.

Francisco Estevez, Courtesy Colorado Ballet Academy

When you're looking for a ballet program to take you to the next level, there are a lot of factors to consider. While it's tempting to look for the biggest name that will accept you, the savvy dancer knows that successful training has more to do with the attention and opportunities you'll get.

We put together a few of the most important things for dancers to look for in a summer or year-round training program, with the help of the experts at Colorado Ballet Academy:

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Everything Nutcracker
Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz as the Sugar Plum Fairy during a stage rehearsal for George Balanchine's Nutcracker. All photography by Arian Molina Soca.

For many professional ballet dancers, Nutcracker means weeks of performances. That usually translates to multiple casts—and important breakout opportunities for those in the junior ranks. On the afternoon of December 13, Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz made her debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy along with her Cavalier, corps member Austin Eylar. For the Brazilian-born dancer, who joined PAB in 2018 after two seasons at Houston Ballet, Sugar Plum marks one of her first principal roles.

"I'm really excited," says Golz. PAB artistic director Angel Corella appointed 12 casts of Sugar Plum Fairies over the run's 29 performances. "When I first found out, I was like, 'Pinch me!' I still can't believe it."

We caught up with Golz just before her debut to see how she prepared for her big break.

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Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy US Prix de Ballet

The US Prix de Ballet is taking an unconventional approach to the ballet competition—by putting the competitors' health first. After a successful first year in 2018, the Prix is returning to San Diego, CA this February with an even more comprehensive lineup of wellness workshops and master classes, in addition, of course, to the high-level competition.

Though the talent is top-notch, the environment is friendly, says HARID Conservatory faculty member Victoria Schneider, who serves on US Prix de Ballet's elite panel of judges. "The wellbeing of the dancer is the main focus," says Schneider, who awarded three scholarships to HARID at last year's competition.

US Prix de Ballet was born after its founders traveled to the Japan Grand Prix International Ballet Competition in 2016. "The company ran every aspect of the competition with professionalism, dignity, honor and precision," says founder Neisha Hernandez. "We knew we wanted this level of experience for America."

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