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Pratt + Kreidich Photography, Courtesy Dancers & Dogs

The holiday season is coming our way, and with it good cheer, a giving spirit and, of course, The Nutcracker. Our favorite photography duo, Dancers & Dogs, has found a way to garner that energy for a good cause: pet adoption.

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The National Ballet of Canada's Harrison James and Emma Hawes in Orpheus Alive. Karolina Kuras, Courtesy NBoC.

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Ballet Stars
Matt Stamey, Courtesy Santa Fe College.

Gainesville, Florida, may not seem like the typical place you'd see a major revival of a historic ballet. But November 8–9, Santa Fe College will present Cuban choreographer Alberto Alonso's 1967 Carmen Suite, rarely performed in the U.S. Staged by his widow, Sonia Calero-Alonso, the production will star American Ballet Theatre principals Sarah Lane and Cory Stearns as Carmen and Don José, and ABT corps member Luis Ribagorda (Lane's husband) as Escamillo, as well as dancers from New York Dance Project. It will also feature the Gainesville Orchestra, making this the first time the full ballet has been performed to live music in the U.S. since 1974.

Alonso, who died in 2007, had strong ties to Gainesville, and to Santa Fe College in particular. Although he helped found the Cuban National Ballet with his brother Fernando and his sister-in-law, the renowned Alicia Alonso, he and his wife expatriated to Florida in 1993. The pair spent the next 18 years teaching and choreographing at Santa Fe College's dance program. Alora Haynes, chair of fine arts for Santa Fe College, has wanted to produce the full Carmen Suite for over 25 years.

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Lindsay Thomas, Courtesy PNB

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Getty Images

Last winter, we found out that a ballet emoji was coming our way as part of Emoji 12.0. The update includes nearly 400 new emojis featuring several disability-related symbols, gender neutral figures, and, thankfully, our favorite new tiny pair of pointe shoes. Since then, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Twitter and other platforms (see a full list here) have all released their versions, but there was one hold out: Apple. Every iPhone update has left us breathlessly scrolling through the emojis, searching for the pointe shoes... until now! On October 28, Apple released iOS 13.2, and for the fellow iPhone users out there, all of our emoji dreams have finally come true.

Check out the full list of Apple's new emojis below in a post from Emojipedia's Instagram. (The pointe shoe is in the center of the 11th row down from the top, sandwiched between the swim shorts and the banjo.)

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Award winners at the 2019 Prix de Lausanne. Gregory Bartadon, Courtesy Prix de Lausanne.

Though we haven't even gotten to The Nutcracker yet, competition season is just around the corner. Yesterday, the Prix de Lausanne announced the names of the 84 young hopefuls who will be competing in Montreaux, Switzerland next February, and the list includes 10 dancers from the U.S.

While eight candidates were pre-selected earlier this year, the majority of dancers applied via video submission and were chosen by a jury of nine dance-world professionals last week. The panel had a tall task: 377 dancers from 44 countries applied for a spot in the lineup. The 84 selected competitors hail from 26 countries including Japan, Australia, Belarus, South Africa and Cuba. Get to know the 10 U.S. dancers below, and stay tuned over the coming months for more updates on Prix de Lausanne.

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Nashville Ballet's Julia Eisen and Jon Upleger in A Streetcar Named Desire. MA2LA, Courtesy Nashville Ballet.

In December 1947, Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire rocked audiences with its brutal portrayal of a young southern widow's tragic life. At the Broadway premiere, the theater fell utterly silent after the curtain closed, before the audience erupted into a 30-minute ovation.

Since its creation, Streetcar has won numerous awards and provided inspiration for a plethora of adaptations. Now, choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's balletic version is making its U.S. company debut at Nashville Ballet November 1–3. As a female choreographer with an interest in telling women's stories, Ochoa is championing a new era of narrative ballet, and she wants audiences familiar with Williams' story to see the protagonist's arc in a new light.

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Nashville Ballet's Julia Eisen in Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's A Streetcar Named Desire . MA2LA, Courtesy Nashville Ballet.

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Karolina Kuras, Courtesy NBoC

On Friday, National Ballet of Canada announced that artistic director Karen Kain will step down in January 2021 to become artistic director emeritus.

Kain, who has served as artistic director since 2005, joined NBoC as a dancer in 1969 and went on to become one of the company's most beloved stars, often dancing alongside Rudolf Nureyev.

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Melanie Hamrick in Balanchine's Valse Fantaisie. Marty Sohl, Courtesy ABT.

Melanie Hamrick has been an undeniable force in American Ballet Theatre's corps de ballet for the past 15 years (16 if you count her time in the Studio Company, she points out). Her technical precision, combined with her luxurious quality of drawing each step out so that it melts into the next, has made her a standout whether she's dancing a featured role or in a corps of swans. On Saturday, she'll take her final bow with the company in Balanchine's Theme and Variations, with just a tiny bit of nerves. "I've always been a calm performer, but this fall season I've been quite nervous," she explained after rehearsal on Thursday. "I want to take in every moment and really enjoy it. I got quite emotional earlier this week because I'm going to miss my friends," she says, adding, "But I'm excited for the next chapter."

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Ross Brown, Courtesy RNZB

It's been several years since former Pacific Northwest Ballet star Patricia Barker took over leadership of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. In that time Barker and her husband, former PNB dancer Michael Auer, have had to acclimate themselves to a new country, a new hemisphere and a new culture.

She also noticed that RNZB had a different way of working when she took the helm in 2017. The company was then grappling with acccusations of abusive behavior and other workplace grievances by its former director, along with a few vocal New Zealanders with nationalistic agendas stirring up controversy. "The company was trying to lay low and let things blow over," she says. "You can never lay low; you just have to face your troubles head on."

Even though Barker says the turmoil had nothing to do with her, she took it on and moved the company forward by turning attention back on the art form, which she says is what matters most to audiences. And what matters to Barker with regard to that art form is creating more opportunities for female choreographers. So much so that the company's entire 2020 season will feature works choreographed by women.

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The Washington Ballet's NEXTsteps program opens this week. Here are company dancers Ashley Murphy-Wilson and Alexandros Papajohn. Procopio Photography, Courtesy The Washington Ballet.

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