Photography by Jim Lafferty

 

Everything glitters a bit more in Vegas. To kick off its first season at the city’s new Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Nevada Ballet Theatre didn’t just perform a ballet. It put on the first-ever three-company production of George Balanchine’s Jewels. “Everyone was calling the theater the new jewel box of the city, so I thought, What better way to inaugurate it?” says NBT executive director Beth Barbre. Ballet West performed “Emeralds,” NBT “Rubies” and Pacific Northwest Ballet “Diamonds.” Van Cleef & Arpels sponsored the event—legend has it their jewelry inspired the ballet when Balanchine peeked in a store window. Although Jewels had never before been split among three companies, once the dancers took the stage, the collaboration felt natural. “Each jewel is so different, it can really showcase a company,” says Ballet West principal Christiana Bennett, who performed a lead in “Emeralds.” “We each got to fine-tune the technique and style of our act, really own it. And then all three pieces came together into one massively gorgeous ballet.”

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Are you a total bunhead who loves to write? You might be the perfect fit for Pointe. We're seeking an editorial intern who's equally passionate about ballet and journalism.

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Yesterday, the first of Nike's new Common Thread video series dropped, and we were thrilled to see that it featured dancers; namely, Dance Theatre of Harlem member (and June/July 2017 Pointe cover star) Ingrid Silva, and Florida-based ballet student Alex Thomas. Even better, it's narrated by tennis phenom Serena Williams. This series of short videos celebrates Black History Month by focusing on representation in sport. (We're not crazy about ballet being called a sport, but we'll let it slide.) In each installment, athletes united by a common thread discuss their passion, and the lack of role models they saw in their fields while growing up.

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The Washington Ballet's Sona Kharatian and Dan Roberge in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. Procopio Photography, Courtesy TWB.

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

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Frances Chung as the title role in Christopher Wheeldon's Cinderella. Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB.

Six-time Tony Award-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz has lit such Broadway musical hits as Frozen, Hello Dolly! and A Chorus Line. She is also one of choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's biggest collaborators, designing the lighting for works such as Broadway's An American in Paris, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Cinderella, a 2012 co-production of San Francisco Ballet and Dutch National Ballet. Shortly after SFB opened their 2020 season with Cinderella last month, Pointe caught up with Katz to talk about her career, her collaborative relationship with Wheeldon, and the lighting profiles of co-productions.

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