Joseph Gatti in class. His new company, United Ballet Theatre, makes its debut this week. Photo by Israel Zavaleta, Courtesy UBT.

Onstage This Week: Stars of American Ballet at Jacob's Pillow Finale, United Ballet Theatre Makes Company Debut, and More!

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


Stars of American Ballet Closes Jacob's Pillow Season with an All-Robbins Program

Summer's winding down, and with it some of the dance world's most beloved festivals. This week marks the close of the 2018 Jacob's Pillow season, and they're going out with a bang with Stars of American Ballet. Led by New York City Ballet principal Daniel Ulbricht, this collaborative of NYCB dancers including Anthony Huxley, Teresa Reichlen and Gonzalo Garcia brings a program celebrating Jerome Robbins' centennial to the Pillow's hallowed Ted Shawn Theatre August 22-26. They'll present some of Robbins' small-cast masterpieces including Suite of Dances, Interplay, Concertino and more.

United Ballet Theatre Makes Its Company Debut

Last winter, Joseph Gatti announced that he was founding United Ballet Theatre, a new summer company prioritizing dancers' health based in Orlando, Florida. On August 26 at 3 pm, UBT makes its debut. The performance, held at the Dr. Phillips Center's Walt Disney Theater, looks almost like a gala. Titled The Athletes of Art, the program boasts an all-star group of dancers including Marcelo Gomes, Dusty Button, Stella Abrera and Gatti himself in works by Gomes, Christopher Wheeldon and George Balanchine, among others.

Texas Ballet Theater Opens Their Season with "Cinderella"

Texas Ballet Theater opens their 2018/2019 season on August 24 with a run of Cinderella, choreographed by TBT artistic director Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas. Set to Sergei Prokofiev's dramatic score, this production promises spells, pumpkins and stepsisters galore. TBT has put out a series of reality TV-inspired videos, placing Cinderella and her stepsisters in offstage locations. Above, they see if the shoe fits. Follow TBT on Instagram for more.

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Vikki Sloviter

Sydney Dolan Takes Center Stage at Pennsylvania Ballet

This is Pointe's Summer 2020 cover story. You can subscribe to the magazine here, or click here to purchase this issue.

Just days before the world shuttered under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic, and the curtain came down indefinitely on dance companies everywhere, Pennsylvania Ballet soloist Sydney Dolan debuted Gamzatti in La Bayadère with captivating ease. Her jumps soared, her technique was sound, and her cheeky smile paired with exquisite port de bras was beguiling. Though she didn't know the company would soon cancel the remainder of its season, her beautiful performance acted as a kind of send-off into the unknown.

Dolan's career could be described in one word: charmed. At just 19 years old, she's flown through the ranks at PAB, debuted a long list of roles, won a Princess Grace Award and been named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch." Yet it's her challenges that have shaped not only her training but her outlook, giving her a solid foundation for becoming one of Pennsylvania Ballet's rising stars.

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VAM/Siggul, Courtesy YAGP

YAGP Has Announced the Winners of the 2020 Pas De Deux Virtual Competition

Last weekend, Youth America Grand Prix took to the internet, hosting its first virtual pas de deux competition. Over the course of three days, YAGP streamed videos from its regional events' highest-ranked competitors for a panel of esteemed judges. And, drum roll please... YAGP has just announced the winners, spanning three categories: Senior Classical, Junior Classical and Contemporary.

You can watch the full virtual awards ceremony, hosted by YAGP director of external affairs Sergey Gordeev, below, or scroll down for the list of winners. And if you're missing the thrill of competition, don't fear: Gordeev announced that registration for the 2021 season will open on July 10, with both in-person and virtual options available.

Congratulations to all!

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Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy ABT

Defining and Refining Musicality: How to Tune In and Develop Your Artistic Voice

Ask a hundred people what musicality is, and you're likely to get a hundred different answers. "Musicality is where an artist's personality shines brightest," says Smuin Contemporary Ballet member Ben Needham-Wood. For American Ballet Theatre soloist Skylar Brandt, "it's what distinguishes one dancer from another. It helps me express myself more vividly and emotionally."

Teachers encourage it, directors seek it out and dancers who possess it bring choreography to life in compelling ways. But what exactly is musicality, and how can dancers get more of it?

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