BalletX dancers Zachary Kapeluck, Blake Krapels and Richard Villaverde in Gustavo Ramirez Sansano's Hernando's Hideaway

Elliot deBruyn, Courtesy BalletX

Don’t Miss These Virtual World Premieres Happening in March

As the ballet world pushes into spring, companies across the country are adapting to the pandemic by premiering new digital works, wrapping up virtual seasons and engaging in artistic collaborations. Here are a few of the world-premiere digital programs on tap this month.


Kansas City Ballet

Whitney Huell wears a sparkly long green dress and stans in tendu derriere crois\u00e9 in pli\u00e9 with her arms extended and tilted so that her left arm is higher. She looks over her right arm while standing under a spotlight on a darkened stage.

Kansas City Ballet dancer Whitney Huell in a new work by Helen Pickett

Courtesy Kansas City PBS

On February 18, Kansas City Ballet premiered the first of its new seven-week virtual program, New Moves: The Broadcast Series. Structured as weekly ballet episodes, this program features a selection of 5- to 10-minute world premieres choreographed by Helen Pickett, Marika Brussel, Margaret Mullin, Caroline Dahm, Price Suddarth and KCB dancers Courtney Nitting and James Kirby Rogers. A site-specific series, New Moves features prominent Kansas City landmarks, including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City PBS Studio and Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, among others.

Episodes premiere on the company website each Thursday at 7 pm CDT, through April 1. After its initial posting, each episode will remain online for free; on-demand viewing will run through April 9.

American Ballet Theatre

This month, American Ballet Theatre is hosting two world-premiere events. First, it partnered with Tony Award–nominated choreographer Sonya Tayeh and musician Mike Milosh, founder of the Canadian music group Rhye, for a commissioned dance film. Titled What Becomes of Love?, the piece debuted on March 4 and is part of this year's Digital Discovery Festival offered by Brooklyn-based arts organization National Sawdust. Tayeh's premiere explores love in all forms and features music by Rhye and performances by six ABT dancers, including Cory Stearns, Courtney Lavine, Zimmi Coker, Jose Sebastian, Ingrid Thoms and Joseph Markey. What Becomes of Love? is available for on-demand viewing on the ABT Facebook and YouTube through March 14.

A group of male and female dancers in practice clothing and face masks cluster together with their arms around each other on a bare stage. A male dancer in a blue T-shirt on the far right kneels and pretends to snap a picture with an imaginary camera while the others pose.

ABT dancers rehearse Alexei Ratmansky's new work, Bernstein in a Bubble

Christopher Duggan, Courtesy ABT

On March 23 at 7 pm EDT, ABT presents the world premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's Bernstein in a Bubble as part of the company's ABT Live from City Center | A Ratmansky Celebration virtual offering. The program, filmed live on the City Center stage, also features excerpts from Ratmansky's The Seasons, Seven Sonatas and The Sleeping Beauty. Bernstein in a Bubble, set to music by the legendary American composer Leonard Bernstein, was created during a quarantined "bubble" residency this past winter and features 15 dancers, including Aran Bell, Isabella Boylston, Skylar Brandt, Herman Cornejo and James Whiteside.

Viewers can purchase tickets to ABT Live from City Center | A Ratmansky Celebration for $25 via New York City Center Digital website. (You must open an NYCCD account first.) On-demand access will be available through April 18.

BalletX

Join BalletX beginning March 10 for the final installment of its 2020–21 BalletX Beyond virtual season, featuring the premieres of three site-specific short films. First on the program is Maddie Hanson's VIRTUALITY, which stars BalletX dancer Ashley Simpson and explores the crossover between art and technology. Then, Stephanie Martinez's Her Blood a Wild River honors Mexican and Indigenous female pioneers and features seven company dancers, with a portion of the piece set to Denice Frohman's poem A Woman's Place. Finally, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano's Hernando's Hideaway, which explores the digital creative process, stars dancers Richard Villaverde, Zachary Kapeluck and Blake Krapels, and is set to The Johnston Brothers' performance of the namesake song.

The films premiere online on March 10 and will be available for online viewing through August 31. Audiences can access the films and other virtual premiere events by subscribing to BalletX Beyond via the company website.

Carolina Ballet

In a large dance studio, Courtney Schenberger, wearing a black leotard, skirt face mask and wide legwarmers, stands in fourth position on pointe with her arms extended behind her. Her partner, Sam Ainley, holds onto her hands and stands in a casual first position. Pablo Perez stands to their left and gestures as if giving them a note.

Carolina Ballet dancers Courtney Schenberger and Sam Ainley rehearse the Spring section of Robert Weiss's The Four Seasons with ballet master Pablo Perez.

Courtesy Carolina Ballet

This month, Carolina Ballet premieres former artistic director Robert Weiss' Four Miniatures alongside his 2018 piece Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Composed of two solos and two pas de deux, Four Miniatures stars CB company members Taylor Ayotte, Courtney Schenberger and Richard Krusch, as well as New York City Ballet guest artists Megan LeCrone, Alexa Maxwell and Amar Ramasar. The ballets feature music by Stravinsky, Pachelbel, Ravel and Tchaikovsky.

Season subscribers and single-ticket holders (click here for more information) can catch the livestreamed program on March 17 and 18 at 7:30 pm EDT. Each performance will remain accessible through midnight on March 21.

Ballet Idaho

Ballet Idaho continues its 2020–21 virtual season this month with Movement 4: New Dance, featuring five world premieres created by four company members and guest choreographer Yusha-Marie Sorzano. The program is divided into two episodes, the first showing works by dancers Ashley Baker and Antonio Carnell and the second including those by Cydney Covert, Daniel Ojeda and Sorzano.

Each performance streams throughout the month of March and is available through subscription via the Ballet Idaho website.

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Price Suddarth, who has been making a name for himself as a choreographer, has conceived and created The Intermission Project, a new digital work for 20 dancers. The nine-part film, presented in three acts, looks at the state of limbo the pandemic has created for so many over the last year, and the effect it has had both emotionally and intellectually. Suddarth, who also did all of the project's cinematography and editing, worked with the dancers entirely over Zoom until the actual shoot days.

The Intermission Project streams for free through March 21 on PNB's website, Facebook page and YouTube channel.


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