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Onstage This Week: Houston Ballet Tours to Dubai, San Francisco Ballet at the Kennedy Center, World Premieres in Memphis and More!

San Francisco Ballet is bringing six works from their Unbound: A Festival of New Works to The Kennedy Center this week. Here, dancers are pictured in Christopher Wheeldon's Bound To. Photo by Erik Tomasson, Courtesy The Kennedy Center.

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


Houston Ballet Tours to Dubai 

This week Houston Ballet heads a little farther afield than usual. October 24-27 the company tours to Dubai, making them the first American ballet company to perform at the Dubai Opera House. The company is bringing a classic to the Middle Eastern city: artistic director Stanton Welch's Swan Lake. Catch principals Yuriko Kajiya and Chun Wai Chan in this clip from the Black Swan Pas De Deux.

Jerome Robbins' Experimental Full-Length Ballet Returns to the Stage 

Jerome Robbins' centennial year has included performances of some of the famed choreographer's most seminal works at companies around the world. October 24-27, the Brooklyn Academy of Music digs deeper into Robbins' oeuvre by presenting Watermill, a full-length experimental ballet inspired by Japanese Noh theater that hasn't been staged in nearly half a century. Watermill stars former New York City Ballet principal Joaquin De Luz, who retired from the company just two weeks ago.

San Francisco Ballet Brings 6 East Coast Premieres to the Kennedy Center 

Last spring, San Francisco Ballet wowed Bay Area audiences with Unbound: A Festival of New Works. Now SFB is bringing six of the festival's ballets to The Kennedy Center October 23-28, marking their East Coast premieres. Program A includes ballets by Trey McIntyre, Christopher Wheeldon and David Dawson, and Program B features pieces by Edwaard Liang, Cathy Marston and Justin Peck.

Ballet Memphis Collaborates with Local Musicians to Present 2 World Premieres

October 26-November 4 marks Ballet Memphis' inaugural Memphis Project, a brand new collaboration between the company and local musicians that honors the city's musical legacy. This program includes Trey McIntyre's reworked Memphis Suite to a score by a variety of artists, as well as two premieres: former Alvin Ailey dancer Alia Kache's new work to an original score by Julien Baker, and associate artistic director Steven McMahon's new collaboration with the record label Unapologetic.

Sarasota Ballet Presents the Company Premiere of Martha Graham's ​"Appalachian Spring​"

Sarasota Ballet opens their 2019 season October 26-28 with a diverse triple bill. The program features the company premiere of Martha Graham's iconic 1944 collaboration with composer Aaron Copland, Appalachian Spring. Also on deck are Ricardo Graziano's Symphony of Sorrows and Galina Samsova's production of Paquita. Be transported into dance history with this early clip of the Martha Graham Dance Company performing Appalachian Spring, which stars Graham herself as The Bride.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Bids Farewell to Principal Julia Erickson with All Mozart Program

Longtime Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre principal Julia Erickson retires from PBT this weekend during the company's Mozart in Motion program October 26-28. The program features three works spanning past to present, all to Mozart: George Balanchine's Divertimento No. 15 and Jiří Kylián's Sechs Tänze and Petite Mort. In the above video, Erickson discusses why these works are meaningful to her.

BalletMet Presents Short Ballets by Three New York-Based Choreographers

BalletMet's Lineage: A Collection of Short Ballets program runs October 26-November 3 and features three short works by New York choreographers originally created for New York City Ballet: George Balanchine's Square Dance, Christopher Wheeldon's romantic After the Rain pas de deux and Justin Peck's In Creases. Above, artistic director Edwaard Liang discusses After the Rain.

Story Ballets Galore! 

Beasts, fairies, pirates... Halloween seems like the perfect time of the year for story ballets. This week, four companies bring back beloved classics. On the spookier side of things is Nevada Ballet Theatre's production of Ben Stevenson's Dracula, running October 25-28. Click through for more!

The Conversation
Summer Intensive Survival
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It is easy to feel as though the entire ballet year revolves around summer: more hours in the day for dance, and another summer intensive to add to your resumé. You've likely dreamt about which program you want to attend, traveled to auditions and gotten excited about the new challenges in a big city school. But what if you find yourself staying home?

It can feel heartbreaking to watch your peers take off for their intensives. Whether you're staying home by choice or because of injury or finances, you can still improve and have fun at your local studio. Unlike those headed off to big intensives, you have flexibility and money on your side. Jody Skye Schissler, owner of Skye Ballet Center in Herndon, Virginia, encourages dancers to start by asking, "How can you make your summer more focused on yourself and what you need for your future?" Here are tips for making the most of your time at home.

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The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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Ballet Stars
Royal Ballet principal Steven McRae with his kids. Via Instagram.

With Father's Day just around the corner, we wanted to take a minute to acknowledge some of the dancer dads out there who are doing double duty at home and onstage. So in between feting the father figures in your life this weekend (and thanking them for sitting through countless hours of dance recitals throughout the course of your lives), check out these eight ballet dads below.

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Ballet Stars
Antonio Carmena (right) coaches a Barnard College student. Photo by Marcus Salazar, courtesy Carmena.

Some ballet dancers, the lucky ones at least, get to enjoy long, successful careers. Yet their dancing schedule usually allows little time for anything else. At New York City Ballet, for instance, most dancers don't have secondary jobs on the side, although layoffs between seasons provide short opportunities to flex new muscles, like teaching. But performance careers inevitably come to an end, and dancers must then "become" something else.

When former NYCB soloist Antonio Carmena retired from the company in 2017, he realized he wasn't quite prepared for the next step. His retirement uncovered an insecurity buried deep within him—that without dance, he wasn't "good" at anything anymore. It's taken two years for Carmena to develop more work experience as he searches for a new place for himself in the dance world. And while he admits it's an ongoing journey, the pieces are finally starting to come together.

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