Cincinnati Ballet in Swan Lake. Aaron M. Conway, Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet.

Onstage This Week: Valentine's Day Programs Abound, Milwaukee Ballet Reimagines the Ballets Russes, and More!

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


These 11 Companies Are Celebrating Valentine's Day With Romantic Story Ballets

Valentine's Day creates the perfect opportunity for companies to share romantic story ballets with their audiences. Below, check out 11 companies presenting the classics this week. (We'll pretend most of them don't have such tragic endings).

Giselle

February 11-16, American Ballet Theatre brings Giselle to The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The run includes Stella Abrera's last DC performance before retiring from the stage, and marks debuts for Skylar Brandt, Joo Wan Ahn and Aran Bell.

New Jersey-based American Repertory Ballet presents Giselle at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center February 14-15.

Swan Lake

Peter Martins' Swan Lake returns to New York City Ballet February 14-23.

St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre's Swan Lake, starring ballerina Irina Kolesnikova, tours to New York City's Brooklyn Academy of Music February 15-16.

February 13-16, Cincinnati Ballet presents Swan Lake, choreographed by former resident choreographer Kirk Peterson after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.

Kansas City Ballet audiences have a number of chances to catch Swan Lake, which runs February 14-23.

Richmond Ballet's production of Swan Lake, running February 14-16, features two special guest stars: American Ballet Theatre principals Sarah Lane and Cory Stearns.

The Sleeping Beauty

February 13-23, Oregon Ballet Theatre presents The Sleeping Beauty, choreographed by artistic director Christopher Stowell after Petipa's 1890 original.

Cinderella

Victoria Morgan's Cinderella is back onstage at Orlando Ballet February 14-16. The run also includes one condensed, family friendly performance.

Two Valentine's Day Mixed Bills

Rather than stick to the full-lengths, two companies are ringing in the Valentine's spirit with shorter ballets.

Grand Rapids Ballet brings a program titled Eternal Desire to the stage February 14-16 and 21. The mixed bill pairs the world premiere of artistic director James Sofranko's Romeo & Juliet Balcony Pas de Deux with Trey McIntyre's Wild Sweet Love, Penny Saunders' Give Me. Also on the program are the world premieres of November by Danielle Rowe and A Dreamer by Sofranko.

February 14-16, Ballet Austin presents Restless Hearts, a double bill featuring George Balanchine's "Rubies" and Christopher Wheeldon's Ghosts.

Milwaukee Ballet Reimagines Three Ballets Russes Classics

Sergei Diaghilev's 1909–29 Ballets Russes is known for its intense emphasis on creation and collaboration. February 13–16, Milwaukee Ballet uses this as a jumping-off point for its Ballet Russe Reimagined program. Three company dancers—Nicole Teague-Howell, Timothy O'Donnell and Garrett Glassman—will choreograph new works based on Diaghilev's celebrated commissions.

Nashville Ballet Explores Gender Identity With Four World Premieres

February 14-16, Nashville Ballet explores the gender spectrum with world premieres by four choreographers: Jennifer Archibald, Erin Kouwe, Matthew Neenan and Carlos Pons Guerra. These new works are inspired by four questions (based on National Geographic's 2017 "Gender Issue") that artistic director Paul Vasterling posed to the choreographers: What does it mean to be a man, what does it mean to be a woman, what does it mean to be both and what does it mean to be neither? Catch additional interviews with the choreographers on Nashville Ballet's YouTube channel.

Ma Cong's New "Firebird" Hits Texas Ballet Theater

The world premiere of Ma Cong's take on Firebird, telling the tale of a mystical Firebird that frees a prince and princess from the control of an evil sorcerer, opens at Texas Ballet Theater February 14-16. It's joined by Jonathan Watkins Crash, to a score by Ryan Cockerham.

Justin Pecks' "The Times Are Racing" Makes Joffrey Ballet Premiere

The Joffrey Ballet's The Times Are Racing program, running February 12-23, includes three ballets presented on the Chicago stage for the first time. Itzik Galili's Mono Lisa and The Sofa and Justin Peck's The Times Are Racing, all making their Chicago premieres, are joined by Christopher Wheeldon's Commedia and Stephanie Martinez's Bliss!.

"Firebird" Flies Onto the Miami City Ballet Stage

Miami City Ballet opens its third program of the season February 14. Running through March 1, this exciting mix of ballets includes two company premieres: Firebird, choreographed by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins with all new costumes by Anya Kelpikov and designs by Wendall Harrington, and Justin Peck's Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes. Also on the program is Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs. This weekend's run takes place at the Miami Arsht Center.

San Francisco Ballet's Second Program of the Season Celebrates Contemporary Works

February 11-22, San Francisco Ballet presents Classical (Re)Vision, a mixed bill program highlighting the range of San Francisco Ballet's contemporary repertoire. Audiences will see Stanton Welch's Bespoke, Mark Morris' Sandpaper Ballet and two surprise "Director's Choice" works selected from a rotating group of eight short ballets, and chosen by artistic director Helgi Tomasson.

Tulsa Ballet Follows Dorothy Down the Yellow Brick Road 

Edwaard Liang's vibrant, puppet-filled Dorothy & The Prince of Oz returns to Tulsa Ballet February 13-16. This take on the classic story of The Wizard of Oz tracks Dorothy's adventures to restore peace in the Land of Oz. Above, get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the ballet's animated characters with puppeteer Basil Twist.

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