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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Roman Mejia Is Carving His Own Path at New York City Ballet

In a brightly lit studio high above the busy Manhattan streets, Roman Mejia rehearses George Balanchine's Allegro Brillante. Though just 20, the New York City Ballet corps dancer exudes an easy confidence. Practicing a tricky sequence of triple pirouettes into double tours his breathing becomes labored, but his focus doesn't waver. He works until he finds the music's inherent rhythm, timing his turns evenly and finally landing them with a satisfied smile.

Since joining NYCB in 2017, Mejia has had the chance to take on ballets ranging from Romeo + Juliet to Fancy Free to Kyle Abraham's hip-hop–infused The Runaway. Though he often finds himself the youngest person in the room, Mejia is rarely intimidated. He's been immersed in ballet since birth. His father, Paul Mejia, danced with NYCB in the 1960s, and his mother, Maria Terezia Balogh, danced for Chicago City Ballet and Fort Worth-Dallas Ballet. Both of Mejia's parents and his grandmother attended the School of American Ballet. Now, Mejia is quickly building on his family's legacy, creating buzz with his shot-from-a-cannon energy, rapid-fire footwork and charismatic charm.

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi Everyone,

These are challenging times. The social distancing measures brought about by COVID-19 has likely meant that your regular ballet training has been interrupted, while your performances, competitions—even auditions—have been cancelled. You may be feeling anxious about what the future holds, not only for you but for the dance industry. And that's perfectly understandable.

As you adjust to taking virtual ballet class from your living rooms, we here at Pointe are adjusting to working remotely from our living rooms. We've had to get a little creative, especially as we put our Summer Issue together, but like you we're taking full advantage of modern technology. Sure, it's a little inconvenient sometimes, but we're finding our groove.

And we know that you will, too. We've been utterly inspired by how the dance community has rallied together, from ballet stars giving online classes to companies streaming their performances to the flood of artist resources popping up. We've loved watching you dance from your kitchens. And we want to help keep this spirit alive. That's why Pointe and all of our Dance Media sister publications are working nonstop to produce and cross-post stories to help you navigate this crisis. We're all in this together.

We also want to hear from you! Send us a message on social media, or email me directly at abrandt@dancemedia.com. Tell us how you're doing, send us your ideas and show us your dance moves. Let the collective love we share for our beloved art form spark the light at the end of the tunnel—we will come out the other side soon enough.

Best wishes,

Amy

Bethany Kirby, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet

Ballet Company Costume Departments Jump Into Action, Sewing Masks for Coronavirus Aid

The novel coronavirus pandemic has forced ballet companies worldwide to cancel or postpone their seasons. But it's not just dancers and artistic staff that have found their work at a standstill. Costume departments, a vital component in bringing performances to life, have also hit pause. However, costume shops around the country, including Tulsa Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet and Miami City Ballet, have figured out a creative way to utilize their resources to give back to their communities during this challenging time. We touched base with Tulsa's team to find out what their experience has been like.

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