News

Onstage This Week: New "Anna Karenina" at the Joffrey, "Firebird" World Premiere at Ballet Arizona, and Much More!

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


Joffrey Ballet Presents a Brand New "Anna Karenina"

The Joffrey Ballet debuts Yuri Possokhov's Anna Karenina February 13–24. Based on Leo Tolstoy's seminal tale of passion and desire, this co-production with The Australian Ballet features original music by Possokhov's frequent collaborator, Ilya Demutsky.

Ballet Arizona's "The Firebird" Has Its World Premiere 

Ballet Arizona artistic director Ib Andersen's new Firebird, based on the Russian fairy tale and set to Igor Stravinsky's celebrated score, hits stages February 14–17. Billed as a cinematic experience, Andersen is also designing the costumes and sets. The program also includes August Bournonville's La Sylphide, staged by Andersen.

San Francisco Ballet's Season Continues With Two Mixed Rep Programs

San Francisco Ballet moves away from story ballets this week with two mixed repertoire programs. The first, Kaleidoscope, runs select dates February 13-23 and features George Balanchine's Divertimento No. 15, the SFB premiere of Benjamin Millepied's Appassionata and Justin Peck's Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. In Space & Time, on from February 14-24, brings to the stage SFB artistic director Helgi Tomasson's The Fifth Season, Cathy Marston's Snowblind and Harald Landar's classic Etudes.

The Kennedy Center Celebrates the Lunar New Year With National Ballet of China

This week, National Ballet of China is back at The Kennedy Center February 13-16 with the full length ballet Raise the Red Lantern, which made its DC debut in 2005. Choreographed by Wang Xingpeng and Wang Yuanyuan, the ballet brings together Chinese opera, shadow puppet theater and more to tell a tragic story set in 1920s rural China.

Milwaukee Ballet's Choreographic Competition is Back

Genesis, Milwaukee Ballet's annual choreographic competition, returns February 14-17. The three choreographers chosen were given three weeks to work with the company on new works. This year's choreographers all hail from abroad: Cass Mortimer Eipper is from Australia, Aleix Mañé comes from Spain and Kenneth Tindall, of Scotland, rounds off the group.

Ballet Memphis Gives Audiences a Glimpse of Spring

Ballet Memphis' Spring Mix program running February 15-24 offers viewers "earth, water and sky through different eyes." This celebration of earthly elements includes three works: Steven McMahon's Flyaway, Julia Adam's Dew Point and a world premiere by Rafael Ferreras titled Heartwoods.

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa Takes Center Stage at Ballet Austin

Celebrate Valentine's weekend in style with Ballet Austin's Pieces of Passion: Four Dances by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, featuring some of this choreographic powerhouse's favorite works. Austin audiences can see Requim for a rose, A deux, Symbiotic Twin and Sombrerísimo February 15-17.

Festival Ballet Providence Presents Three Striking Ballets 

Festival Ballet Providence's program Mirrors: Three Striking Ballets is onstage this weekend, February 15-17. The program includes Viktor Plotnikov's Coma, George Balanchine's Serenade and Yury Yanowsky's Smoke & Mirrors.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Presents Mixed Rep in Aspen

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet takes the stage in its Aspen home on February 16 for a one-night-only program of fan favorites. The modern program features Alexander Ekman's Tuplet, Fernando Melo's Dream Play and Jorma Elo's 1st Flash.

8 Companies Celebrate Valentine's Day With Romantic Story Ballets

This weekend, 8 companies are celebrating Valentine's Day by bringing back some of ballet's most romantic story ballets.

Ballet Stars
Karolina Kuras, Courtesy NBoC

It's hard to imagine the National Ballet of Canada without ballerina Greta Hodgkinson. Yet this week NBoC announced that the longtime company star will take her final bow in March, as Marguerite in Sir Frederick Ashton's Marguerite and Armand.

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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News
Alice Pennefather, Courtesy ROH

You ever just wish that Kenneth MacMillan's iconic production of Romeo and Juliet could have a beautiful love child with the 1968 film starring Olivia Hussey? (No, not Baz Luhrmann's version. We are purists here.)

Wish granted: Today, the trailer for a new film called Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words was released, featuring MacMillan's choreography and with what looks like all the cinematic glamour we could ever dream of:

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Viral Videos

What do Diana Vishneva, Olga Smirnova, Kristina Shapran and Maria Khoreva all have in common? These women, among the most impressive talents to graduate from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in recent years, all studied under legendary professor Lyudmila Kovaleva. Kovaleva, a former dancer with the Kirov Ballet (now the Mariinsky), is beloved by her students and admired throughout the ballet world for her ability to pull individuality and artistry out of the dancers she trains. Like any great teacher, Kovaleva is remarkably generous with her wealth of knowledge; it seems perfect, then, that she appears as the Fairy of Generosity in this clip from a 1964 film of the Kirov's The Sleeping Beauty.

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