Patricia Delgado will dance in new choreography by Jamar Roberts at Guggenheim Works & Process' program The Choreography of Light. Erin Baiano, Courtesy Works & Process.

Onstage This Week: ABT's "Harlequinade" Hits the West Coast, Matthew Bourne's "Cinderella," and More!

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


ABT's West Cost Premiere of "Harlequinade"

American Ballet Theatre heads to California this week for the West Coast premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's Harlequinade. Inspired by Petipa's original choreography, this delightful comic ballet features familiar commedia dell'arte characters and over 250 vivid and detailed costumes. Catch ABT at Costa Mesa's Segerstrom Center January 17-20.

Matthew Bourne's "Cinderella" Comes to The Kennedy Center

Matthew Bourne and his London-based company New Adventures return to Washington, DC's The Kennedy Center January 15-20 with Cinderella. Bourne's version of the classic fairy tale is set in London during the Second World War and uses Prokofiev's beloved score.

Guggenheim Works & Process Explores the Choreography of Light

Boston Ballet lighting director Brandon Stirling Baker discusses the close relationship between choreography and lighting in a program titled The Choreography of Light for Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum January 18 and 20. Baker will present excerpts from two new works in which his designs play a large role: one by Justin Peck for Houston Ballet, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Jamar Roberts's choreography for Taylor Stanley, Sarah Daley and Patricia Delgado.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Presents The Trocks

The ballerinas of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.

Zoran Jelenic, Courtesy Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

On January 19, for one night only, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet presents the comedic drag troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo for Aspen audiences. The Trocks will dance a few of their classic works including ChopEniana, La Trovatiara Pas de Cinq and Raymonda's Wedding.

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Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem

Cicely Tyson and the Enduring Legacy of Arthur Mitchell’s Dance Theatre of Harlem

Cicely Tyson, the legendary 96-year-old Black actress whose February 16 funeral at Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church was attended by, among others, Tyler Perry, Lenny Kravitz, and Bill and Hillary Clinton, is remembered for performances that transcended stereotypes and made an indelible impression on a nation's heart and soul.

Among the most fondly remembered is her breakout role in the 1972 movie Sounder, which depicts a Black sharecropper family's struggle to survive in the Jim Crow South. The role catapulted Tyson to stardom, winning her an Academy Award nomination and a reputation as someone committed to enhancing Blacks' representation in the arts. Throughout a seven-decade career, countless critically acclaimed, award-winning roles in films, onstage and on television reaffirmed that image. Yet one role reflecting the depth of that commitment is much less visible—the supporting one she played working with longtime friend Arthur Mitchell when he envisioned, shaped and established the groundbreaking Dance Theatre of Harlem.

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As Ballet Looks Toward Its Future, Let's Talk About Its Troubling Emotional Demands

As a ballet student, I distinctively remember being told that to survive ballet as a profession, one must be exceptionally thick-skinned and resilient. I always assumed it was because of the physically demanding nature of ballet: long rehearsal hours, challenging and stressful performances, and physical pain.

It wasn't until I joined a ballet company that I learned the true meaning behind those words: that the reason one needs thick skin is not because of the physical demands, but because of the unfair and unnecessary emotional demands.

Undoubtedly, emotional and physical strength go hand in hand to some extent. But the kind of emotional demand I am talking about here is different; it is not the strength one finds in oneself in moments of fatigue or unwillingness. It is the strength one must have when being bullied, humiliated, screamed at, manipulated or harassed.

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Artists of the Australian Ballet perform the "Kingdom of the Shades" from La Bayadère. Lynette Wills, Courtesy Australian Ballet.

Catch the Australian Ballet’s Livestreamed Season Premiere This Weekend

After a yearlong hiatus, the Australian Ballet is ready to return to the stage. The company's season opener, titled Summertime at the Ballet, packs a great deal of firsts: It marks the ballet's first performance before a live audience since the start of the pandemic; the first time the company takes the stage under the leadership of its new artistic director, David Hallberg; and the first time Australian Ballet performs at the Melbourne & Olympic Parks Margaret Court Arena. Another important first: The performance will be livestreamed not only in Australia but all over the world. Summertime at the Ballet will be broadcast February 28 at 11:45 am AEDT (that's 7:45 pm EST on February 27 here in the U.S.), with bonus features, such as interviews and commentary. It will be accessible for 48 hours to accommodate all time zones.

This livestream will be provided via the Australian Ballet's newly launched digital platform, Live on Ballet TV. "One of my main goals is for the company to be seen by as many people around the world as possible," says Hallberg, the American-born international star who took the helm at the Australian Ballet in January. "Which is why Live on Ballet TV is such an integral part of my vision artistically."

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