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Onstage This Week: TWB Presents a New "Sleeping Beauty," NBoC Celebrates Guillame Côté, ENB Returns to the U.S. After 30 Years, and More!

National Ballet of Canada's Guillaume Côté, Xiao Nan Yu and artists of the ballet in Apollo. Cylla von Tiedemann, Courtesy NBoC.

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


English National Ballet Brings Akram Khan's "Giselle" to Chicago

This week, English National Ballet comes to the U.S. for the first time in 30 years. The London-based company brings Akram Khan's much-lauded 2016 Giselle to Chicago's Harris Theater, February 28–March 2. Using original music by Vincenzo Lamagna, based on Adolphe Adam's original score, Khan's modern take blends Indian kathak and contemporary movement to tell the story of migrant workers and landlords, as opposed to the traditional peasants and aristocrats.

The Washington Ballet Debuts New Production of "The Sleeping Beauty" 

February 27-March 3, The Washington Ballet debuts a new production of The Sleeping Beauty at The Kennedy Center. Artistic director Julie Kent and associate artistic director Victor Barbee restaged Marius Petipa's beloved 1890 original to fit the size and scale of TWB.

Ballet Fantastique Presents New "Odyssey" Story Ballet

Ballet Fantastique debuts The Odyssey: The Ballet, a brand new full-length story ballet based on Homer's classic tale, March 1-3 in Eugene, OR. Choreographed and produced by company directors (and mother-daughter duo) Donna and Hannah Bontrager, the ballet features live looping electric violin by Cullen Vance. Audiences everywhere can watch a live broadcast of the March 3, 2:30 pm PST performance here.

NBoC Celebrates Guillaume Côté's 20th Company Anniversary 

National Ballet of Canada brings four works to stages March 1-3 and March 20-21, headlined by George Balanchine's Apollo. The program also includes the Canadian premiere of Julia Adam's Night, Robert Binet's The Sea Above, The Sky Below, and a new adaptation of Paquita by Christopher Stowell. The March 2 performances features principal dancer Guillaume Côté in the title role of Apollo in celebration of his 20th anniversary with the company. Hear him discuss the role in the above video.

Lucas Jervies' "Human Abstract" is Back at Louisville Ballet

Australian choreographer Lucas Jervies' full-length ballet Human Abstract returns to the Louisville Ballet stage February 28-March 3. The ballet, which made its Louisville Ballet debut in 2017, is a co-production with Louisville Visual Art, and is billed as a "riveting psychological drama."

"Don Quixote" Returns to BalletMet

BalletMet brings back Don Quixote March 1-3 at the Ohio Theatre. To get into the Don Q spirit, BalletMet made a video featuring company dancer Kristie Latham showing off some of her best fan work, with tips on how to make a fan work for you.

Los Angeles Ballet Brings Back Two Classics

Los Angeles Ballet embarks on a mini tour of Southern California March 2, 9 and 16 with a program featuring two romantic classics by master choreographers: George Balanchine's Serenade and August Bournonville's La Sylphide.

Texas Ballet Theatre Presents Three Company Favorites 

Texas Ballet Theater's mixed bill, running March 1-3, features three modern works: William Forsythe's In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Christopher Bruce's Ghost Dances and TBT dancer Andre Silva's 11:11. Silva's work is focused on contemporary expression, set to a mix of tribal, pop and electronic music.

Viral Videos

Master pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee of the California-based ThePointeShop chats with Ballet West soloist Chelsea Keefer to hear about how she prepares her pointe shoes. Keefer offers lots of darning tips, and shares all of the unusual ways that she uses rosin.

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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Dane Shitagi, Courtesy Chronicle Books

Earlier this year, we shared that photographer Dane Shitagi's Ballerina Project—his gorgeous, ongoing collection of dance photos that have dominated our Instagram feeds for years—would be coming to an end. But all is not lost—starting September 17, you can enjoy over 170 of these photographs in Ballerina Project, a stunning new book showcasing Shitagi's work.

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From left: Kathryn Posin Dance Company members Daniel White, Claire Mazza and Momchil Mladenov in Evolution: The Letters of Charles Darwin. Nan Melville, Courtesy Posin.

Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution might not seem like a natural fit for the ballet stage. But that's exactly the topic of one of choreographer Kathryn Posin's three new ballets, scheduled to premiere at New York City's 92nd Street Y September 13-14.

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