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Onstage This Week: Joaquin De Luz's Farewell Performance, Royal Winnipeg Ballet's "The Handmaid's Tale," and More!

Joaquin De Luz in Prodigal Son, one of his most celebrated roles. De Luz retires from New York City Ballet this week. Photo by Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB.

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


NYCB Bids Farewell to Principal Joaquin De Luz

New York City Ballet's fall season continues this week with a return to Jerome Robbins. Then, on October 14, the company celebrates the retirement of principal dancer Joaquin De Luz. A special program includes four prominent works from De Luz's career: George Balanchine's Theme and Variations, Robbins' A Suite of Dances and Peter Martins' Todo Buenos Aires. Also on the program is Balanchine's Concerto Barocco. Above, hear De Luz on Robbins' Prodigal Son, which he'll dance on October 10.

American Contemporary Ballet Opens Their Season with a World Premiere 

American Contemporary Ballet is going all out for Halloween. Their season opener, running October 12-31, includes two works by artistic director Lincoln Jones: Inferno, billed as "an adventure through hell since the 14th century," and the world premiere of Burlesque. Exploring burlesque performance, Jones' newest work features a commissioned score by American composer Charles Wuorinen, who has previously composed for New York City Ballet.

Company Premiere of Macmillan's "Romeo & Juliet" at Pennsylvania Ballet 

Considered to be one of the greatest adaptations of Shakespeare's timeless love story, Sir Kenneth Macmillan's Romeo & Juliet will have its Pennsylvania Ballet company premiere October 11-19 at the Academy of Music. The company has released a number of videos leading up to the premiere; above, principal Lillian DiPiazza shares her thoughts on dancing the role of Juliet.

Orlando Ballet Celebrates Director Robert Hill's 10th Anniversary with "Carmina Burana" 

October 12-14, Orlando Ballet brings back Carmina Burana to celebrate Robert Hill's 10th season as artistic director. With choreography by Hill, Carmina Burana features live vocal performance by 160 singers from the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park; the singers will be onstage behind the dancers. Get a sneak peek in the thrilling trailer above.

Royal Winnipeg Ballet "The Handmaid's Tale" is Back

After five years, The Handmaid's Tale, Lila York's ballet based on Margaret Atwood's beloved dystopian novel of the same name, is back on Royal Winnipeg Ballet stages. This dark dance-drama runs October 10-14 at the Centennial Concert Hall.

Carolina Ballet Celebrates Halloween with "Dracula"

Carolina Ballet is getting into the Halloween spirit. October 11-28, the company presents two extra spooky ballets: Lynne Taylor-Corbett's Dracula, back onstage after four years, and Robert Weiss' The Masque of the Red Death, based on Edgar Allen Poe's famous story. Both works feature original scores played live by a chamber ensemble.

The Conversation
Summer Intensive Survival
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It is easy to feel as though the entire ballet year revolves around summer: more hours in the day for dance, and another summer intensive to add to your resumé. You've likely dreamt about which program you want to attend, traveled to auditions and gotten excited about the new challenges in a big city school. But what if you find yourself staying home?

It can feel heartbreaking to watch your peers take off for their intensives. Whether you're staying home by choice or because of injury or finances, you can still improve and have fun at your local studio. Unlike those headed off to big intensives, you have flexibility and money on your side. Jody Skye Schissler, owner of Skye Ballet Center in Herndon, Virginia, encourages dancers to start by asking, "How can you make your summer more focused on yourself and what you need for your future?" Here are tips for making the most of your time at home.

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The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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Ballet Stars
Royal Ballet principal Steven McRae with his kids. Via Instagram.

With Father's Day just around the corner, we wanted to take a minute to acknowledge some of the dancer dads out there who are doing double duty at home and onstage. So in between feting the father figures in your life this weekend (and thanking them for sitting through countless hours of dance recitals throughout the course of your lives), check out these eight ballet dads below.

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Ballet Stars
Antonio Carmena (right) coaches a Barnard College student. Photo by Marcus Salazar, courtesy Carmena.

Some ballet dancers, the lucky ones at least, get to enjoy long, successful careers. Yet their dancing schedule usually allows little time for anything else. At New York City Ballet, for instance, most dancers don't have secondary jobs on the side, although layoffs between seasons provide short opportunities to flex new muscles, like teaching. But performance careers inevitably come to an end, and dancers must then "become" something else.

When former NYCB soloist Antonio Carmena retired from the company in 2017, he realized he wasn't quite prepared for the next step. His retirement uncovered an insecurity buried deep within him—that without dance, he wasn't "good" at anything anymore. It's taken two years for Carmena to develop more work experience as he searches for a new place for himself in the dance world. And while he admits it's an ongoing journey, the pieces are finally starting to come together.

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