Courtesy Joffrey Ballet

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.

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Jayme Thornton

Roman Mejia Is Carving His Own Path at New York City Ballet

In a brightly lit studio high above the busy Manhattan streets, Roman Mejia rehearses George Balanchine's Allegro Brillante. Though just 20, the New York City Ballet corps dancer exudes an easy confidence. Practicing a tricky sequence of triple pirouettes into double tours his breathing becomes labored, but his focus doesn't waver. He works until he finds the music's inherent rhythm, timing his turns evenly and finally landing them with a satisfied smile.

Since joining NYCB in 2017, Mejia has had the chance to take on ballets ranging from Romeo + Juliet to Fancy Free to Kyle Abraham's hip-hop–infused The Runaway. Though he often finds himself the youngest person in the room, Mejia is rarely intimidated. He's been immersed in ballet since birth. His father, Paul Mejia, danced with NYCB in the 1960s, and his mother, Maria Terezia Balogh, danced for Chicago City Ballet and Fort Worth-Dallas Ballet. Both of Mejia's parents and his grandmother attended the School of American Ballet. Now, Mejia is quickly building on his family's legacy, creating buzz with his shot-from-a-cannon energy, rapid-fire footwork and charismatic charm.

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi Everyone,

These are challenging times. The social distancing measures brought about by COVID-19 has likely meant that your regular ballet training has been interrupted, while your performances, competitions—even auditions—have been cancelled. You may be feeling anxious about what the future holds, not only for you but for the dance industry. And that's perfectly understandable.

As you adjust to taking virtual ballet class from your living rooms, we here at Pointe are adjusting to working remotely from our living rooms. We've had to get a little creative, especially as we put our Summer Issue together, but like you we're taking full advantage of modern technology. Sure, it's a little inconvenient sometimes, but we're finding our groove.

And we know that you will, too. We've been utterly inspired by how the dance community has rallied together, from ballet stars giving online classes to companies streaming their performances to the flood of artist resources popping up. We've loved watching you dance from your kitchens. And we want to help keep this spirit alive. That's why Pointe and all of our Dance Media sister publications are working nonstop to produce and cross-post stories to help you navigate this crisis. We're all in this together.

We also want to hear from you! Send us a message on social media, or email me directly at abrandt@dancemedia.com. Tell us how you're doing, send us your ideas and show us your dance moves. Let the collective love we share for our beloved art form spark the light at the end of the tunnel—we will come out the other side soon enough.

Best wishes,

Amy

Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

As COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

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