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

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

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.

Latest Posts


DTH's Alexandra Hutchinson and Derek Brockington work out with trainer Lily Overmyer at Studio IX. Photo by Joel Prouty, Courtesy Hutchinson.

Working Out With DTH’s Alexandra Hutchinson

Despite major pandemic shutdowns in New York City, Alexandra Hutchinson has been HIIT-ing her stride. Between company class with Dance Theater of Harlem and projects like the viral video "Dancing Through Harlem"—which she co-directed with roommate and fellow DTH dancer Derek Brockington—Hutchinson has still found time to cross-train. She shares her motivation behind her killer high-intensity interval training at Studio IX on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem

Cicely Tyson and the Enduring Legacy of Arthur Mitchell’s Dance Theatre of Harlem

Cicely Tyson, the legendary 96-year-old Black actress whose February 16 funeral at Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church was attended by, among others, Tyler Perry, Lenny Kravitz, and Bill and Hillary Clinton, is remembered for performances that transcended stereotypes and made an indelible impression on a nation's heart and soul.

Among the most fondly remembered is her breakout role in the 1972 movie Sounder, which depicts a Black sharecropper family's struggle to survive in the Jim Crow South. The role catapulted Tyson to stardom, winning her an Academy Award nomination and a reputation as someone committed to enhancing Blacks' representation in the arts. Throughout a seven-decade career, countless critically acclaimed, award-winning roles in films, onstage and on television reaffirmed that image. Yet one role reflecting the depth of that commitment is much less visible—the supporting one she played working with longtime friend Arthur Mitchell when he envisioned, shaped and established the groundbreaking Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

As Ballet Looks Toward Its Future, Let's Talk About Its Troubling Emotional Demands

As a ballet student, I distinctively remember being told that to survive ballet as a profession, one must be exceptionally thick-skinned and resilient. I always assumed it was because of the physically demanding nature of ballet: long rehearsal hours, challenging and stressful performances, and physical pain.

It wasn't until I joined a ballet company that I learned the true meaning behind those words: that the reason one needs thick skin is not because of the physical demands, but because of the unfair and unnecessary emotional demands.

Undoubtedly, emotional and physical strength go hand in hand to some extent. But the kind of emotional demand I am talking about here is different; it is not the strength one finds in oneself in moments of fatigue or unwillingness. It is the strength one must have when being bullied, humiliated, screamed at, manipulated or harassed.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks