As one of the foremost classical ballerinas of her generation, Diana Vishneva has captivated audiences with her magnetic stage presence and pristine technique. In a move that's sure to disappoint fans on this side of the Atlantic, she recently announced that she'll give her final performances with American Ballet Theatre on June 19 and 23, 2017, as Tatiana in Onegin. She'll dance with long-time partner, ABT principal Marcelo Gomes. Luckily for Russia, Vishneva will continue as a principal at the Mariinsky.

The first time I was able to see Vishneva dance live was in the summer of 2009, when I secured a student rush ticket to see Frederick Ashton's Sylvia at ABT. Even though I was sitting so high up I could literally touch the opera house ceiling, I felt lucky to see her in that ballet with its wildly differing acts.


Vishneva told The New York Times that because she has too many projects, she's unable to focus 100 percent of her energy on ABT, and that would be a disservice to the company—though she didn't rule out the possibility of future guest appearances. Along with her regular repertoire at the Mariinsky, she'll continue the contemporary dance festival she founded, called Context—this year's festival will be held in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Vishneva will perform with Paris Opéra Ballet director Aurélie Dupont, in a new work choreographed by Batsheva Dance Company director Ohad Naharin. Now that's something I would rush to Russia to see.

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The Washington Ballet's NEXTsteps program opens this week. Here are company dancers Ashley Murphy-Wilson and Alexandros Papajohn. Procopio Photography, Courtesy The Washington Ballet.

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

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Courtesy Apolla

Ballet dancers today are asked to do more with their bodies than ever before. The physical demands of a ballet career can take an immense toll on a dancer's joints and muscles—subjecting them to pain, inflammation and an increased risk of injury. Considering all that is required of today's dancers, having a top-notch recovery regime is paramount.

Enter Apolla Performance Wear, which is meeting ballet's physical demands with a line of compression footwear that is speeding up the recovery process for professional dancers by reducing inflammation and stabilizing the joints.

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Ballet West in rehearsal for Le Chant du Rossignol. Beau Pearson, Courtesy Ballet West.

Ballet West opens its season October 25–November 2 with a triptych of works from George Balanchine's early choreographic career with Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Highlighting the program is Balanchine's 1925 The Song of the Nightingale (Le Chant du Rossignol), never before seen in the U.S. This ballet is not only the first piece that a then-21-year-old Balanchine made for the Ballets Russes; it also marks his first collaboration with Igor Stravinsky, and features costumes by Henri Matisse. To bring it to Salt Lake City, Ballet West is working closely with Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer, who reconstructed the work for Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo in 1999.

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Stella Abrera in Le Corsaire. Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy ABT.

American Ballet Theatre announced today that, after 24 years, beloved principal dancer Stella Abrera will retire from the stage this coming summer. Her farewell performance will be June 13, 2020, at the Metropolitan Opera House, dancing the title role in Giselle.

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