YAGP 2018 New York Finals Week. Photo by VAM Productions, Courtesy YAGP.

Onstage This Week: YAGP Finals, San Francisco Ballet's Festival of New Works, and More

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


Youth America Grand Prix

After months of semi-finals, the final round of YAGP 2018 is finally here! This week, 1,800 finalists from 30 countries (chosen from the over 10,000 who auditioned) are gathered in New York. On April 18, the competition culminates in the Final Round at the Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, where the most promising participants will compete for scholarships and contracts with ballet schools and companies around the world. April 19 marks YAGP's Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow gala, featuring finalists from the competition alongside international ballet stars including Dutch National Ballet principal Sasha Mukhamedov, American Ballet Theatre's Isabella Boylston and Daniil Simkin, and New York City Ballet principal Daniel Ulbricht, among others. YAGP is live-streaming the finals all week—you can check it out on their website. Also, keep an eye on Pointe's social media channels tomorrow, April 17, for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the competition.

Competing in YAGP this week? Here's a good luck message from ABT's Stella Abrera.



SFB Presents 12 World Premieres in 17 Days

San Francisco Ballet's Unbound: A Festival of New Works is breaking boundaries this spring by presenting 12 world premieres by 12 major choreographers (David Dawson, Alonzo King, Edwaard Liang, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Cathy Marston, Trey McIntyre, Justin Peck, Arthur Pita, Dwight Rhoden, Myles Thatcher, Stanton Welch and Christopher Wheeldon) in just over two weeks. The festival will run April 20–May 6 at the War Memorial Opera House and include a two-day symposium on the ways that diversity and technology are shaping the future of ballet.


ABT Studio Company Performs in NYC

April 17-18, American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company will appear at Ailey Citigroup Theater in a mixed repertoire program including an excerpt from Johan Kobborg and former ABT principal Ethan Stiefel's Giselle, August Bournonville's William Tell pas de deux and Liam Scarlett's Untitled. Also on the program are new works by Marco Pelle and New York City Ballet's Lauren Lovette. Though the company frequently performs all over the country, we rarely get a chance to see them on their home turf. Here's company dancer Ingrid Thoms performing a sneak peek at New York City Center last week.


Smuin Ballet's Season Finale

From April 20-29, San Francisco-area audiences can see Smuin Ballet at the YBCA Theater in an exciting triple bill closing out their spring season. Works include the world premiere of Val Caniparoli's If I Were A Sushi Roll, Helen Pickett's Oasis and resident choreographer Amy Seiwert's Falling up. This will be Seiwert's final season as the company's choreographer in residence before she departs to become artistic director of Sacramento Ballet. Check out this interview with her on her time with Smuin Ballet here, and get a better sense of what's on the program with the fast-paced program trailer below.


Jose Mateo's Farewell Performances

The Boston-based choreographer Jose Mateo is stepping down as artistic director of the company he founded, Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre. His farewell performances run April 6-29 before the company finishes the season. (A new director has not been named yet.) Mateo has been a staple in the Boston dance world for many years, and this final program represents an exemplary range of his work since 1991. The program, titled Moving Violations, includes Mateo's Schubert Adagio (1991), House of Ballet (1993), Timeless Attractions (2010) and the world premiere of New Parts.

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A male dancer catches a female dancer in his right arm as she wraps her left arm around his shoulder and executes a high arabesque on pointe. Both wear white costumes and dance in front of a blue backdrop onstage.

Dara Holmes and Edson Barbosa in Myles Thatcher's Body of Your Dreams

Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet

Wanyue Qiao, American Ballet Theatre

Wearing a powder blue tutu, cropped light yellow top and feather tiara, Wanyue Qiao does a piqu\u00e9 retir\u00e9 on pointe on her left leg and pulls her right arm in towards her.

Wanyue Qiao as an Odalisque in Konstantin Sergeyev's Le Corsaire

Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT

Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson, Houston Ballet

Three male dancers in tight-fitting, multicolored costumes stand in positions of ascending height from left to right. All extend their right arms out in front of them.

Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson (far right) with Saul Newport and Austen Acevedo in Oliver Halkowich's Following

Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet

Leah McFadden, Colorado Ballet

Wearing a white pixie wig and a short light-pink tunic costume, a female ballet dancer poses in attitude front on pointe with her left arm bent across her ribs and her right hand held below her chin.

Leah McFadden as Amour in Colorado Ballet's production of Don Quixote

Mike Watson, Courtesy Colorado Ballet

Maria Coelho, Tulsa Ballet

Maria Coelho and Sasha Chernjavsky in Andy Blankenbuehler's Remember Our Song

Kate Lubar, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet

Alexander Reneff-Olson, San Francisco Ballet

A ballerina in a black feathered tutu stands triumphantly in sous-sus, holding the hand of a male dancer in a dark cloak with feathers underneath who raises his left hand in the air.

Alexander Reneff-Olson (right) as Von Rothbart with San Francisco Ballet principal Yuan Yuan Tan in Swan Lake

Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB

India Bradley, New York City Ballet

Wearing a blue dance dress with rhinestone embellishments and a sparkly tiara, India Bradley finishes a move with her arms out to the side and hands slightly flexed.

India Bradley practices backstage before a performance of Balanchine's Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2.

Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB

Bella Ureta, Cincinnati Ballet

Wearing a white dress with pink corset, Bella Ureta does a first arabesque on pointe in front of an onstage stone wall.

Bella Ureta performs the Act I Pas de Trois in Kirk Peterson's Swan Lake

Hiromi Platt, Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet

Alejándro Gonzales, Oklahoma City Ballet

Dressed in a green bell-boy costume and hat, Alejandro Gonz\u00e1lez does a saut\u00e9 with his left leg in retir\u00e9 and his arms in a long diagonal from right to left. Other dancers in late 19-century period costumes watch him around the stage.

Alejandro González in Michael Pink's Dracula at Oklahoma City Ballet.

Kate Luber, Courtesy Oklahoma City Ballet

Nina Fernandes, Miami City Ballet

Wearing a long white tutu and crown, Nina Fernandes does a saut de chat in front of a wintery backdrop as snow falls from the top of the stage.

Nina Fernandes in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Miami City Ballet

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