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Onstage This Week: World Premieres at PNB, PBT and DTH Collaborate in Pittsburgh, and More!

New York Theatre Ballet in Richard Alston's The Seasons. Richard Termine, Courtesy NYTB.

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


PNB's Director's Choice Program Features Two World Premieres

Pacific Northwest Ballet's second mixed bill of the season, running March 15-24, features three works handpicked by artistic director Peter Boal. The program includes two world premieres: The Trees The Trees by Robyn Mineko Williams and Bacchus by Matthew Neenan, as well as the company premiere of Justin Peck's In The Countenance of Kings.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Dance Theatre of Harlem Share the Stage

March 15-24, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Dance Theatre of Harlem come together in Pittsburgh to present a shared program featuring signature works from both companies, including PBT in Balanchine's "Rubies" and DTH in Darrell Grand Moultrie's Harlem On My Mind. The companies will also dance together in a collaborative staging of Stanton Welch's Orange. Above, see a video on the companies' 2017 collaboration.

New York Theatre Ballet Brings a Mixed Rep Program to Danspace Project

March 14-16 marks New York Theatre Ballet's fifth season at Dancspace Project. NYTB presents three favorite works: Richard Alston's The Seasons, inspired by Indian philosophical thought, Matthew Nash's 1983 The Elements of Style based on the classic guide to writing of the same name, and Merce Cunningham's 1967 Scramble, part of the Cunningham Centennial Celebration.

American Repertory Ballet Brings Back "Coppélia"

New Jersey-based American Repertory Ballet presents Coppélia at the Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ, March 16-17. ARB is billing this comedic story ballet as a great fit for the whole family.

Ballet Training
Hortense Millet-Maurin (third from left) and her classmates perform August Bournonville's La Conservatoire. Svetlana Loboff, Courtesy POB.

As a little girl, Hortense Millet-Maurin fell in love with the wide spiral staircase that dominates the center of the Paris Opéra Ballet School. Today, as a focused 15-year-old POB student, she and her classmate Vincent Vivet navigate the school's spacious architecture on a daily basis. In a hallway strewn with foam rollers and tennis balls, their faces are laced with concentration as they prepare alongside their peers for afternoon ballet class. Color-coded uniforms reflect Vivet's and Millet-Maurin's third division; with only two advanced divisions remaining, they are increasingly close to realizing their professional aspirations: joining the Paris Opéra Ballet. Pointe spoke with these two young dancers to see what it's like studying inside the world's oldest ballet academy.

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Sponsored by Ballet Arizona
Tzu Chia Huang, Courtesy Ballet Arizona

These days, ballet dancers are asked to do more than they ever have—whether that's tackling versatile rep, taking on intense cross-training regimens or managing everything from their Instagram pages to their summer layoff gigs.

Without proper training, these demands can take a toll on both the mind and the body. But students can start preparing for them early—with the right summer intensive program.

The School of Ballet Arizona's summer intensive takes a well-rounded approach to training—not just focusing on technique and facility but nurturing overall dancer growth. "You cannot make a dancer just by screaming at them like they used to," says master ballet teacher Roberto Muñoz, who guests at the program every summer. "You have to take care of the person as well."

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Ballet Training
Emily Giacalone, modeled by Elizabeth Steele of The School at Steps.

If you're feeling wobbly in adagio or wish you could hold your piqué attitude a bit longer, there are ways to assess and improve your balance. Try these four exercises, recommended by Heather Southwick, Boston Ballet's director of physical therapy.

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Courtesy School of Pennsylvania Ballet

While many of us are deep in Nutcracker duties, The School of Pennsylvania Ballet director James Payne has been looking further ahead, finalizing preparations for the school's summer intensive programs. In January, he and his staff will embark on a 24-city audition tour to scour the country for the best young dancers, deciding whether or not to offer them a spot—maybe even a scholarship—in the school's rigorous 5-week intensive focused on high-caliber ballet instruction. Though he'll be evaluating aspirants, he urges that as a student, you should be equally selective in choosing programs that could galvanize your training—and possibly even your career.

We got Payne's advice on strategizing your summer intensive plan before the audition cycle kicks in:

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