Photo by David Tett, Courtesy Genée 2018.

Looking to add a little bit of ballet to your weekend? We have good news: The 2018 Genée International Ballet Competition is streaming excerpts from their finals live this Sunday, August 12 from Hong Kong. Hosted by the Royal Academy of Dance, the Genée differs slightly from other ballet competitions in that it's exclusive to dancers training in the RAD syllabus. This year's 14 finalists were just announced this morning; the competitors were whittled down from 51 candidates from 13 nationalities. To watch this group of promising young dancers compete for gold, silver and bronze medals, as well as the Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award, go to the Genée Facebook page. The stream will also include exclusive interviews with members of the Genée team, the medalist announcement, and a special guest performance by Hong Kong Ballet. The stream begins at 7:25 pm Hong Kong Time—keep in mind that Hong Kong is 12 hours ahead of EST. You can track the time difference here.

Prep for the finals by watching this video of the finalists being announced earlier today, and scroll down for a full list of who to watch.

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News
Misty Copeland as the Ballerina Princess in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Photo Courtesy Disney.

It's August—the sun is shining, summer intensives are winding down, and Nutcracker seems very far away. But this new trailer for Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is already getting us in the holiday mood. While this modern take on the classic holiday story, in theaters November 2, is not a dance film, it does include mega-stars Misty Copeland and Sergei Polunin as the Ballerina Princess and Nutcracker Prince.

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Ballet Stars
ACB's Summer Premieres features two new ballets by artistic director Lincoln Jones. Photo by Anastasia Petukhova, Courtesy ACB.

Creating new work is a staple for American Contemporary Ballet founder and artistic director Lincoln Jones. For the Los Angeles-based company's Summer Premieres program, August 2-12, Jones created two pieces "in absolute contrast to each other." The longer of the two, titled Transfigured Night, is set to Austrian-American composer Arnold Shoenberg's 1899 masterpiece Verklärte Nacht. We caught up with Jones to hear about the very personal research that went into his new ballet.

What's on deck for this summer's annual premieres program?

I'm making two ballets, one quite long and one very short. The program will open with Candide Overture, which is the overture to Leonard Bernstein's Candide. The second piece will be Transfigured Night. I started with the Shoenberg, which is this 30-minute, very beautiful piece about the inward lives of two lovers. I thought that the Bernstein would be interesting in absolute contrast to that. It's super extroverted and has all of these ebullient rhythms. I wanted to do something for the Bernstein centennial.

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Viral Videos
Film still courtesy Silva.

It goes without saying: We love dance films. Particularly when their creation is inspired by dancers themselves. When Royal Danish Ballet soloist Magnus Christoffersen, currently with Los Angeles Ballet, approached filmmaker Jason Silva with an idea in mind, Silva knew this project was meant to be. They brought in Los Angeles Ballet principal Tigran Sargsyan to choreograph. The trio's dream-like, atmospheric collaboration, titled The Dancer, is set to a sweeping score by Ludovico Enaudi and focuses in on one dancer's experience, a bit reminiscent of Sergei Polunin in the now viral video "Take Me to Church."

While many moments in the film are deeply emotive, we particularly love 2:50, when Christoffersen leaps off the stage as if it can't contain his energy any longer, expanding our view of the space. For someone alternating between dancing on carpet and concrete, we're pretty impressed by his many virtuosic jumps and turns (though we don't recommend trying that at home.)

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Ballet Stars
Pennsylvania Ballet's Sydney Dolan in rehearsal for The Nutcracker. Photo by Arian Molina Soca, Courtesy PAB.

Each year, the Princess Grace Foundation, honoring the legacy of Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco, offers awards to distinguished artists spanning the fields of theater, film and, of course, dance. The 2018 winners were just announced and include nine dancers and choreographers, five of whom—Sydney Dolan, Catherine Hurlin, David Adrian Freeland, Dana Genshaft and Claudia Schreier—hail from the ballet world. In addition to this list, choreographer Kyle Abraham received a Statue Award, recognizing his success since winning the Princess Grace Award in 2010. We can't wait to see Abraham's first-ever work for a ballet company at New York City Ballet's fashion gala this fall.

We've included more info on the ballet-affiliated winners below. Dance awards outside of the ballet realm go to Juilliard School student Matthew Gilmore, New York University student Aliza Russell, Abraham.in.Motion dancer Marcella Lewis and Gibney Dance Company member Shamel Pitts. You can read more about all of the awardees here.

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Ballet Stars
Ingrid Silva in Return with Dance Theatre of Harlem. Photo by Rachel Neville, Courtesy DTH.

Dance Theatre of Harlem's vivacious Ingrid Silva is extending her efforts beyond the borders of the dance world. Last winter she founded EmpowHerNY, a platform that allows women from all over the world to connect and support one another by sharing their day-to-day lives. We touched base with Silva to learn all about her new initiative.

How did you come up with the idea for EmpowHerNY?

It started last December when I met my partner, Helya Mohammadian. She is the founder of Slick Chicks, a line of underwear for women with disabilities. We met while walking our Frenchies and we became very close friends. We both wanted to do something that would make an impact by giving voices to women and helping them achieve their goals. One day we were sitting at a beer garden with our dogs, and came up with the name and created the Instagram, and then all of these people found our account. As women, we haven't had space to have our voices heard for so long, and finally now everyone is breaking their shell and speaking out, so I'm very proud to be part of this movement, giving a voice to other women.

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Just for fun
Photo by Amy Velasquez via Unsplash

Have you ever referred to your feet as biscuits or your pointe shoes as dead in front of a non-dancer friend or family member and seen a wave of confusion cross their face? Dance, like most activities, is chock-full of words and phrases used only by those in the know. In honor of their 90th anniversary, the Oxford English Dictionary wants to change that. They've put out an appeal to gather "hobby words," and dance is on their list (we know that dance is more than a hobby—try not to take offense).

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News
Leanne Cope and Robert Fairchild. Photo Courtesy Trafalger Releasing.

An American in Paris, the wildly popular musical directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, comes to movie theaters nationwide September 20 and 23. Filmed in London in 2017, this version features the show's original stars: former New York City Ballet principal Robert Fairchild and former Royal Ballet first artist Leanne Cope. Based on the classic 1951 Gene Kelly film with a score of Gershwin standards, An American in Paris played on Broadway and in London's West End to rave reviews and numerous awards, including a 2015 Tony for Best Choreographer. This limited screening will bring the best of Broadway up close to the masses. For a full list of participating theaters and to purchase tickets, available July 12, click here.

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