News

Onstage This Week: 3 Premieres at PNB, The Washington Ballet Brings Back Modern Dance Classics, "Jewels" at Ballet West, and More!

Artists of Ballet West in Balanchine's Jewels. Photo by Beau Pearson, Courtesy Ballet West.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? In addition to the programs at Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Washington Ballet, Ballet West and City Ballet of San Diego listed below, this week also marks Balanchine: The City Center Years, a five-day extravaganza bringing together eight companies from around the world. You can read more about it here. Also coming up is Boston Ballet's black box show, BB@home: ChoreograpHER, which features six new works by women in the company. Peek inside the budding choreographers' processes here.


Pacific Northwest Ballet Brings Three Premieres to Seattle

Pacific Northwest Ballet's mixed-rep program titled ALL PREMIERE brings three new works to Seattle November November 2-11. The line up includes the world premiere of PNB dancer Kyle Davis' A Dark and Lonely Space to a score by Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino and the company premieres of Alejandro Cerrudo's Silent Ghost and Alexander Ekman's Cacti. Above, catch a glimpse of rehearsal for A Dark and Lonely Space featuring PNB principals Sarah Ricard Orza and Jerome Tisserand.

The Washington Ballet Celebrates Three Contemporary Masters

October 31-November 4, The Washington Ballet presents three modern dance classics at Washington, DC's Sidney Harman Hall. The program includes Mark Morris' Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes based on a 1616 English poem celebrating ethereal love, Merce Cunningham's famous postmodern Duets to an abstract score by John Cage, and Paul Taylor's beloved Company B, about young Americans going off to World War II to music by the Andrews Sisters.

Ballet West Opens Its 55th Season with "Jewels"

This week Ballet West opens its 55th season with Jewels, George Balanchine's glamorous three-part abstract ballet. Jewels takes us through the eras of Balanchine's history that helped shape his aesthetic: "Emeralds," to music by Gabriel Fauré, refers to 18th century French courts; "Rubies," to Igor Stravinsky is jazzy and all-American; "Diamonds" is set to Tchaikovsky and is evocative of Russian Imperial Courts. Salt Lake City audiences can enjoy "Emeralds," "Rubies" and "Diamonds" November 2-10.

City Ballet of San Diego's Tchaikovsky Spectacular 

City Ballet of San Diego celebrates the music of Tchaikovsky with three works, November 2-4. The program includes two excerpts from Swan Lake—Act II and Black Swan Pas de Deux—as well as something more modern, co-director of City Ballet School Elizabeth Wistrich's Tschai Celebration, set to Tchaikovsky's The Seasons. Catch a glimpse, along with sections from the more familiar Swan Lake, in the above trailer.

Ballet Training
Kali Kleiman performing at YAGP's New York Finals. VAM Productions, Courtesy YAGP.

As someone who has judged many ballet competitions, I've had the opportunity to see some breathtaking contemporary solos that combine fantastic technique with well-conceived choreography. Yet it's often hard for us judges to see the artistic intention behind these solos the way we can when watching a classical variation. For one thing, we're simply more familiar with classical ballet's repertoire and characters. But also, when a contemporary solo is just a string of one trick after another, or only delivers one emotion (such as overwrought angst), we don't get to see any artistic depth.

Keep reading... Show less
Francisco Estevez, Courtesy Colorado Ballet Academy

When you're looking for a ballet program to take you to the next level, there are a lot of factors to consider. While it's tempting to look for the biggest name that will accept you, the savvy dancer knows that successful training has more to do with the attention and opportunities you'll get.

We put together a few of the most important things for dancers to look for in a summer or year-round training program, with the help of the experts at Colorado Ballet Academy:

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Elle Macy in Benjamin Millepied's Appassionata. Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB.

Cross-training misconceptions: Before Elle Macy became an apprentice with Pacific Northwest Ballet, she was apprehensive about cross-training. "I was warned that it might bulk you, or not to do certain activities because they could potentially injure you." But a stress fracture in her foot changed her perspective. Unable to bear much weight, Macy reluctantly tried stationary biking at her physical therapist's suggestion. "What I learned is that you're not going to get injured from being on an elliptical for 20 minutes or by taking a Pilates class," says Macy. Today, it's not uncommon to find the soloist training on the elliptical, doing ankle stability exercises, using the Pilates reformer or taking a hot yoga class.

Keep reading... Show less
Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy US Prix de Ballet

The US Prix de Ballet is taking an unconventional approach to the ballet competition—by putting the competitors' health first. After a successful first year in 2018, the Prix is returning to San Diego, CA this February with an even more comprehensive lineup of wellness workshops and master classes, in addition, of course, to the high-level competition.

Though the talent is top-notch, the environment is friendly, says HARID Conservatory faculty member Victoria Schneider, who serves on US Prix de Ballet's elite panel of judges. "The wellbeing of the dancer is the main focus," says Schneider, who awarded three scholarships to HARID at last year's competition.

US Prix de Ballet was born after its founders traveled to the Japan Grand Prix International Ballet Competition in 2016. "The company ran every aspect of the competition with professionalism, dignity, honor and precision," says founder Neisha Hernandez. "We knew we wanted this level of experience for America."

Keep reading... Show less