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Onstage This Week: James Whiteside Stars in "The Tenant," The Mikhailovsky Returns to California, World Premieres and More!

Artists of Pennsylvania Ballet in Jiří Kylián's Petite Mort. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? In addition to the seven performances listed below, John Neumeier's Anna Karenina makes its North American premiere at National Ballet of Canada November 10-18, and Hungarian National Ballet makes its U.S. debut with three performances at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater November 7-11.


James Whiteside Stars in New Dance Play by Arthur Pita

American Ballet Theatre principal James Whiteside stars in The Tenant, a new dance play choreographed by Arthur Pita running at New York's Joyce Theater November 6-11. Also featuring dancer and model Kibrea Carmichael and ABT soloist (and former Pointe cover star) Cassandra Trenary, The Tenant is based on a novel by the same name by French surrealist writer Roland Topor.

Pennsylvania Ballet's Mixed Rep Program Highlights Two World Premieres

Pennsylvania Ballet shows off its contemporary prowess November 8-11 with a mixed repertoire program featuring Jiří Kylián's Petite Mort alongside world premieres by Andrea Miller and Russell Ducker. Both choreographers will be creating work on PAB for the first time: Ducker is a member of PAB's corps de ballet, and Miller is the artistic director of the Brooklyn-based contemporary company Gallim Dance.

Ballet Idaho's Season Opener Includes a World Premiere by Lauren Edson

Ballet Idaho's first season under the leadership of Garrett Anderson opens with NewDance: Form and Concept, running November 8-11. The program features works by six dancemakers that utilize conceptual approaches to choreography. The program includes a world premiere by Boise's own Lauren Edson and works by Robyn Mineko Williams, Penny Saunders, Dana Genchaft and excerpts from pieces by Danielle Rowe and Craig Davidson.

Richmond Ballet Studio Series Opens With Jerome Robbins and a World Premiere

November 6-11, Richmond Ballet's 2018-19 studio series opens with Studio One. The program features Jerome Robbins' In the Night and a world premiere by Nicole Haskins titled Requiem. Haskins, a dancer with Smuin Ballet, last choreographed for RB in 2015 to great acclaim as part of the company's New Works Festival.

Indianapolis Ballet Adds Joshua Bergasse's "Aspects of Andy" To Its Repertoire

Indianapolis Ballet's New Works Showcase runs November 8-11, featuring acclaimed Broadway choreographer Joshua Bergasse's Aspects of Andy and Roberta Wong's new work to Indiana jazz saxophonist Rob Dixon's "Blues for Velez." Also on the program are artistic director Victoria Lyras' Caprice & Variations and Diana & Aceton Pas de Deux, as well as IB ballet master Paul Vitali's Take it from Tony.

St. Petersburg's Mikhailovsky Ballet Returns to California's Segerstrom Center 

St. Petersburg's Mikhailovsky Ballet and Orchestra make their way to the Costa Mesa, CA-based Segerstrom Center November 9-11 to present Don Quixote staged by artistic director Mikhail Messerer. Principals Ivan Vasiliev and Victor Lebedev will both have their turn in the lead role of Basilio, and Angelina Vorontsova and Anastasia Soboleva will dance the role of Kitri. According to the above trailer, a horse and a donkey might grace the Segerstrom stage too.

Tom Gold Dance Presents the New York Debut of "Apparatus Hominus" 

Former New York City Ballet soloist Tom Gold founded Tom Gold Dance in 2008. November 9-10, the company presents its inaugural fall season at Florence Gould Hall with the New York debut of Gold's Apparatus Hominus, which the company premiered last summer outdoors at a sculpture garden in the Berkshires. Gold's company includes a handful of accomplished freelance dancers as well as New York City Ballet's Mary Elizabeth Sell and American Ballet Theatre's Stephanie Williams.

Summer Intensive Survival
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There's a sweet spot toward the end of August—after summer intensives have wrapped up and before it's time to head back to school or work—where the days are long, lazy and begging to be spent neck-deep in a pile of good books. Whether you're looking for inspiration for the upcoming season or trying to brush up on your dance history, you can never go wrong with an excellent book on ballet. We've gathered eight titles (all available at common booksellers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble) guaranteed to give you a deeper understanding of the art form, to add to your end-of-summer reading list.

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James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico warm up onstage. Angela Sterling, Courtesy SDC.

On a sunny July weekend, hundreds of Seattle-area dance fans converged on tiny Vashon Island, a bucolic enclave in Puget Sound about 20 miles from the city. They made the ferry trek to attend the debut performance of the fledgling Seattle Dance Collective.

SDC is not a run-of-the-mill contemporary dance company; it's the brainchild of two of Pacific Northwest Ballet's most respected principal dancers: James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico. The duo wanted to create a nimble organization to feature dancers and choreographers they felt needed more exposure in the Pacific Northwest.

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Roman Mejia in Robbins' Dances at a Gathering. Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB.

The Princess Grace Foundation has just announced its 2019 class, and we're thrilled that two ballet dancers—New York City Ballet's Roman Mejia and BalletX's Stanley Glover—are included among the list of über-talented actors, filmmakers, playwrights, dancers and choreographers.

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The Royal Ballet's Alexander Campbell and Yasmine Naghdi in Ashton's The Two Pigeons. Tristram Kenton, Courtesy ROH.

While most ballet casts are 100 percent human, it's not unheard of for live animals to appear onstage, providing everything from stage dressing to supporting roles. Michael Messerer's production of Don Quixote features a horse and a donkey; American Ballet Theatre's Giselle calls for two Russian wolfhounds; and Sir Frederick Ashton's La Fille Mal Gardee requires a white Shetland pony. Another Ashton masterpiece, The Two Pigeons, is well known for its animal actors. But though ballet is a highly disciplined, carefully choreographed art form, some performers are naturally more prone to flights of fancy—because they're birds.

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