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Onstage This Week: SFB Principal Vitor Luiz Takes Final Bow, Shanghai Ballet and National Ballet Theatre of Odessa Tour to U.S., and More!

Courtesy Shanghai Ballet

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


San Francisco Ballet Opening Night Gala Features Three World Premieres, and Marks Vitor Luiz's Company Farewell

San Francisco Ballet's 2020 season officially opens next week with performances of Cinderella. But hard core fans can get a sneak peek on January 16 at Spellbound, the company's opening night gala. The special program, celebrating artistic director Helgi Tomasson's 35th year at the helm, features 12 short pieces including world premieres by Val Caniparoli, Yuri Possokhov and Myles Thatcher, and the company premiere of David Dawson's Swan Lake pas de deux.

This performance also marks principal dancer Vitor Luiz's final appearance with the company. Luiz will dance the pas de deux from Possokhov's Bells with principal Yuan Yuan Tan, who celebrates her 25th season with SFB this year. A native of Brazil, Luiz joined the company as a principal in 2009, and is now embarking on a new chapter as an assistant professor of dance at University of California Irvine.

Shanghai Ballet's "Grand Swan Lake" Tours to NYC

Husheng, dressed in a princely velvet jackets and black tights, supports Bingxue in an over extended pench\u00e9. She's wearing a black Odile tutu and crown.

Shanghai Ballet's Wu Husheng and Qi Bingxue in Grand Swan Lake

Courtesy Shanghai Ballet

Shanghai Ballet comes to New York City this week with four performances of artistic director Derek Deane's Grand Swan Lake at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater, January 17-19. This production, featuring costumes by Peter Farmer, lighting by Howard Harrison and accompaniment by the New York City Ballet Orchestra, has toured extensively around the world over the past few years. Audiences will have the chance to see Shanghai Ballet principals Wu Husheng and Qi Bingxue alongside a cast of more than 80 dancers.

The National Ballet Theatre of Odessa Brings Two Classic Ballets to the Chicago Area

A background of ballerinas dressed as swans frame two dancers. The man, in white tights and a velvet jacket supports the ballerina, in a white swan tutu, who is collapsed over his arm.

The National Ballet Theatre of Odessa in Swan Lake

Andreii Stanko, Courtesy National Ballet Theatre of Odessa

January 19 and 21, Chicago-area audiences can see The National Ballet Theatre of Odessa in two classics. The company brings choreographer Michael Lavrovsky's Romeo & Juliet to the Harris Theater on January 19, and Marius Petipa's Swan Lake to the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in nearby Skokie on January 21. This is a unique opportunity to see this Ukrainian company Stateside.

After Recovering From a Fire in Their Theater, Ballet Manila is Back Onstage With "Sleeping Beauty"

A few months ago, Ballet Manila suffered a major setback when a fire razed its home base, the Aliw Theater. But this week, the Philippines-based company is back on its feet with the world premiere of artistic director Lisa Macuja Elizalde's Sleeping Beauty. This ballet concludes Ballet Manila's Princess Trilogy, which began with Snow White and Cinderella last year. Sleeping Beauty is onstage at the Aliw Theater January 18-19.

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