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Onstage This Week: Boston Ballet Debuts in Paris, DTH's New York 50th Anniversary Season, and More!

DTH's Da'Von Doane and Ingrid Silva. Rachel Neville, Courtesy New York City Center.

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


Boston Ballet Tours to Paris for the First Time

April 9-11, Boston Ballet makes its Parisian debut at the historic Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. The company is bringing three contemporary works: The European premiere of William Forsythe's latest work, Playlist (EP), along with his Pas/Parts 2018 and Jiří Kylián's Wings of Wax. "Our debut in Paris is a major milestone for Boston Ballet," says artistic director Mikko Nissinen in a statement. "We are thrilled to showcase our company's artistry and versatility."

Happy Birthday, DTH!

Dance Theatre of Harlem celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The company's annual New York City Center season, running April 10-13, is dedicated to co-founder Arthur Mitchell, who passed away last year. It features a number of his ballets, including a reimagining of Tones II, and works by many choreographers, like George Balanchine, Robert Garland, Geoffrey Holder, John Taras and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.

Grand Rapids Ballet's Mixed Bill Features Alejandro Cerrudo Favorite

Grand Rapids Ballet's Extremely Close program, running April 12-14, features three contemporary works: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo's Extremely Close, Val Caniparoli's Ibsen's House and a world premiere by artistic director James Sofranko titled The Sweet By and By. Above, hear Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's Meredith Dincolo discuss the process of setting Cerrudo's work on the company.

Oregon Ballet Theatre Principal Chauncey Parsons Retires From the Stage During Director's Choice Program

Oregon Ballet Theatre's upcoming program, running April 11-14, showcases artistic director Kevin Irving's approach to 21st century American ballet. The list of works include Nicolo Fonte's Presto and Giants Before Us, Gioconda Barbuto's BringingOutsideIn, Nacho Duato's Jardí Tancat and the OBT premiere of Darrell Grand Moultrie's Love, an excerpt from his work Vital Sensations. Director's Choice also marks OBT principal Chauncey Parsons' final bow with the company. Parsons joined OBT as a soloist in 2008, though he's been dancing professionally since 2002; hear him discuss his career above.

Carolina Ballet Pays Homage to Claude Monet's Paintings

April 11-14, Carolina Ballet brings back Monet Impressions, a two part production celebrating French painter Claude Monet's life and work. It opens with Lynne Taylor-Corbett's Picnic on the Grass, a story ballet based on Monet's life, and closes with artistic director Robert Weiss' The Gardens of Giverny, an impressionistic take on Monet's garden paintings. The ballets are set to music by Monet's compatriots: Chausson, Debussy and Poulenc.

Atlanta Ballet Takes the Stage at the New Sandy Spring Performing Arts Center

This weekend, Atlanta Ballet takes part in the inaugural season of performances at the Sandy Spring Performing Arts Center in Sandy Springs, GA. The company is bringing a diverse mix of work, including Jiří Kylián's Return to a Strange Land and Ricardo Amarante's The Premiere, as well as a selection of divertissements by George Balanchine, Marius Petipa and Craig Davidson. Catch Atlanta Ballet April 12-13.

Dances Patrelle Revives "Madame X" Featuring NYCB Guests

Francis Patrelle's troupe presents its spring season at New York Live Arts April 12-14. The program includes three works by Patrelle himself: His 1999 John Singer Sargent-inspired Madame X featuring New York City Ballet principals Abi Stafford and Ask la Cour, American Overture set to Leonard Bernstein and performed by Twyla Tharp Dance's Reed Tankersley, and the world premiere of The American Dream: It's Only Business.

3 Springtime Story Ballets

This week, three companies bring back classic story ballets.

  • Edwaard Liang's Cinderella returns to BalletMet April 12-14 (catch a glimpse above)
  • April 12-14, Ballet Memphis presents Marius Petipa's Giselle
  • Pacific Northwest Ballet brings George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream to the stage April 12-21

The Conversation
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Ashley Bouder in George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova's Coppélia. Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB.

Hollywood may have the Oscars, but ballet has the Prix de Benois de la Danse. Held every spring at Moscow's Bolshoi Theater, the prestigious international awards ceremony recognizes dancers, choreographers, composers and designers for their extraordinary work on and off the stage. This year's laureates, chosen by a jury, were announced during an awards ceremony last night, followed by a star-studded gala featuring many of the nominated artists.

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American Ballet Theatre principal James Whiteside is known for more than just his uber-charismatic presence on the ballet stage; He doubles as both the drag queen Ühu Betch and the pop star JbDubs. Whiteside's newest musical release, titled WTF, came out last week, and is for sure his most ballet-filled song to date. Both the lyrics and the choreography are jam-packed with bunhead references, from the Rose Adagio to Haglund's Heel to a framed portrait of George Balanchine. Not to mention the fact that he and his four backup dancers (Matthew Poppe, Douane Gosa, Maxfield Haynes and Gianni Goffredo) absolutely kill it in pointe shoes.

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Crystal Serrano and Jorge Andrés Villarini in Christopher Wheeldon's This Bitter Earth. Rachel Neville, Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Crystal Serrano never envisioned someday joining Dance Theatre of Harlem, the company founded by Arthur Mitchell to show the beauty and uplift of classical ballet on dancers of all colors. Her career began with Sacramento Ballet, which she joined after one year in Pacific Northwest Ballet School's Professional Division, but her time there was cut short by illness. After recovering, she felt so worn down that she left dancing behind and enrolled at the University of Washington. But she soon realized she'd made a mistake. "I thought, what am I doing?" she recalls. "I had to dance." With a fresh perspective and renewed determination, Serrano took an apprenticeship with Oregon Ballet Theatre before landing a job with Ballet San Antonio, where she soon rose to soloist.

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School of American Ballet students (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy SAB)

Do you have a "Strictly Ballet"–sized hole in your heart? Good news: There's an upcoming docuseries, "On Pointe," that just might fill it.

The School of American Ballet is teaming up with Imagine Documentaries and DCTV for the project. Though it's not yet clear where "On Pointe" will air, we do know that it'll follow talented SAB students preparing for professional ballet careers—much as Teen Vogue's popular "Strictly Ballet" web series did back in the day. But "On Pointe" marks the first time documentary filmmakers have been allowed access to the school, and it sounds like it'll paint an even more complete picture of the dancers' lives inside and outside the studio.

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