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Onstage This Week: The Mariinsky Returns to DC, New "Frankenstein" at Carolina Ballet and More!

The Mariinsky Ballet in Paquita. Darian Volkova, Courtesy Mariinsky Ballet.

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


The Mariinsky Brings Its New "Paquita" to DC

October 8–13, the Mariinsky Ballet presents the U.S. premiere of its 2017 production of Paquita at The Kennedy Center. Though the Mariinsky performed the ballet's famed wedding pas de deux at the Kennedy Center in 2016, the St. Petersburg–based company is now showcasing the ballet in its entirety. This new rendition of the Marius Petipa classic features a reconstruction of the wedding pas de deux by Yuri Burlaka, and new choreography by Yuri Smekalov, who worked from a libretto of his own making based on Miguel de Cervantes' 1613 novella La gitanilla. —Cadence Neenan

Carolina Ballet's New "Frankenstein" is Tutu Spooky

Halloween creates the perfect inspiration this fall. October 10–27, Carolina Ballet artistic director Zalman Raffael brings Frankenstein to life in Raleigh, North Carolina. His new, full-length ballet will feature a commissioned score by J. Mark Scearce. Costumes, designed by Carolina Ballet's resident designer Kerri Martinsen, will allude to the story's original 19th-century setting, though Raffael's interpretation emphasizes the timelessness of Mary Shelley's tale.

Fall for Dance's Final Program Features NYCB Stars

The 16th annual New York City Center Fall for Dance Festival enters its final two programs this week. Program 5, running October 12-13, features Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal in Dance Me by Andonis Foniadakis and Ihsan Rustem. Also on the bill is the world premiere of a duet for New York City Ballet principals Sara Mearns and Taylor Stanley created by European ballet choreographer Kim Brandstrup.

Kansas City Ballet Presents the World Premiere of Adam Houghland's "Carmina Burana"

October 11-20, Kansas City Ballet audiences can see the world premiere of Adam Houghland's new Carmina Burana. The ballet will feature Carl Orff's famous score performed live by Kansas City Symphony and Kansas City Symphony Chorus. Also on the program are Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Tulips and Lobster and Helen Pickett's Petal.

"Don Quixote" Returns to Pennsylvania Ballet

Pennsylvania Ballet's Don Quixote, restaged by artistic director Angel Corella, returns to Philadelphia's Academy of Music October 10-20. Catch a glimpse of the fiery classic, set to Ludwig Minkus' 1869 score, in the above trailer.

Nevada Ballet Theatre Collaborates with Cirque Du Soleil 

A Choreographer's Showcase, Nevada Ballet Theatre's innovative collaboration with Cirque du Soleil, is back for the 12th year October 6, 12 and 13. This year's performance will feature over 60 performers in work by 16 choreographers from the two Las Vegas-based troupes. The genre-bending show will include media technology elements and video projections alongside live dancing, acrobatics and more.

American Contemporary Ballet Focuses on the Darker Side of Halloween

Lincoln Jones' Inferno. Courtesy ACB.

October 11-November 2, Los Angeles-based American Contemporary Ballet gets into the Halloween spirit with two works by artistic director Lincoln Jones "serving gothic horror." Inferno is based on the first part of Dante's epic 14th century poem, Divine Comedy, while Burlesque is a series of dance episodes blending ballet and burlesque.

Peter and His Animal Friends Take the Stage at Nashville Ballet

Audiences of all ages can crawl, fly and scurry to Nashville Ballet October 10-13 to see Paul Vasterling's family-friendly Peter and the Wolf. This production, set to Sergei Prokofiev's score, unfolds like a life-sized storybook, filled with many species of animal characters.

Festival Ballet Providence's Season Opens with "Hansel & Gretel" 

October 12-20, Festival Ballet Providence's 2019/20 season opens with Ilya Kozodayev's 2016 Hansel & Gretel. This ballet, perfect for children and adults alike, features a commissioned score/soundscape by David Ikard.

Francisco Estevez, Courtesy Colorado Ballet Academy

When you're looking for a ballet program to take you to the next level, there are a lot of factors to consider. While it's tempting to look for the biggest name that will accept you, the savvy dancer knows that successful training has more to do with the attention and opportunities you'll get.

We put together a few of the most important things for dancers to look for in a summer or year-round training program, with the help of the experts at Colorado Ballet Academy:

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Everything Nutcracker
Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz as the Sugar Plum Fairy during a stage rehearsal for George Balanchine's Nutcracker. All photography by Arian Molina Soca.

For many professional ballet dancers, Nutcracker means weeks of performances. That usually translates to multiple casts—and important breakout opportunities for those in the junior ranks. On the afternoon of December 13, Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz made her debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy along with her Cavalier, corps member Austin Eylar. For the Brazilian-born dancer, who joined PAB in 2018 after two seasons at Houston Ballet, Sugar Plum marks one of her first principal roles.

"I'm really excited," says Golz. PAB artistic director Angel Corella appointed 12 casts of Sugar Plum Fairies over the run's 29 performances. "When I first found out, I was like, 'Pinch me!' I still can't believe it."

We caught up with Golz just before her debut to see how she prepared for her big break.

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Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy US Prix de Ballet

The US Prix de Ballet is taking an unconventional approach to the ballet competition—by putting the competitors' health first. After a successful first year in 2018, the Prix is returning to San Diego, CA this February with an even more comprehensive lineup of wellness workshops and master classes, in addition, of course, to the high-level competition.

Though the talent is top-notch, the environment is friendly, says HARID Conservatory faculty member Victoria Schneider, who serves on US Prix de Ballet's elite panel of judges. "The wellbeing of the dancer is the main focus," says Schneider, who awarded three scholarships to HARID at last year's competition.

US Prix de Ballet was born after its founders traveled to the Japan Grand Prix International Ballet Competition in 2016. "The company ran every aspect of the competition with professionalism, dignity, honor and precision," says founder Neisha Hernandez. "We knew we wanted this level of experience for America."

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