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Onstage This Week: Cincinnati Ballet's Annual Kaplan New Works Series, New Chamber Ballet Opens 15th Anniversary Season, and More!

Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet

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


Cincinnati Ballet Presents Six World Premieres as Part of Kaplan New Works Series

Cincinnati Ballet's annual Kaplan New Works Series starts the season off on an exciting foot. This year's program, running September 12–22, features six world premieres, including Heather Britt's When I Still Needed You, Andrea Schermoly's Swivet and San Francisco Ballet principal Sarah Van Patten's Skylight. The other three choreographers—Melissa Gelfin, Taylor Carrasco and David Morse—are all Cincinnati Ballet dancers, selected through the company's Choreographer's Workshop.

New Works by Ma Cong and Garrett Smith at Tulsa Ballet

September 12–22 Tulsa Ballet presents Creations in Studio K, a celebration of contemporary choreography. The program includes two world premieres: resident choreographer Ma Cong's Escaping the Weight of Darkness and Garrett Smith's Fading Figures. These works join the return of Val Caniparoli's Prawn-watching.

A New Collaboration by Zalman Raffael and Robert Weiss Takes the Stage at Carolina Ballet

Carolina Ballet opens its fall season with a program blending classic and new work. Running September 12–29, the company presents George Balanchine's "Rubies," founding artistic director Robert Weiss' Meditation from Thaïs and a world premiere by Weiss and artistic director Zalman Raffael set to music by San Francisco–based composer Shinji Eshima.

Louisville Ballet Brings Back "The Merry Widow"

Louisville Ballet brings back Ronald Hynd's The Merry Widow September 13–14. Hynd first created this version of the opulent ballet, to a score by Franz Léhar, for The Australian Ballet. Set in the glamour of early-20th-century Paris, The Merry Widow tells the story of the widow Hanna's relationship with the dashing Count Danilo.

New Chamber Ballet Opens Its 15th Anniversary Season with a World Premiere

New Chamber Ballet opens its 15th anniversary season at New York City Center's studios September 13–14 with a new full-length work by artistic director Miro Magloire. The ballet is set to four chamber pieces by contemporary German composer Wolfgang Rihm; Magloire's premiere coincides with a New York–based festival of Rihm's music, organized in collaboration with the German Consulate New York.

Kathryn Posin Explores the Life of Charles Darwin in New Work

September 13–14, the Kathryn Posin Dance Company presents three new works by Kathryn Posin at New York's 92nd Street Y as part of the Dig Dance Series. The first, Evolution: The Letters of Charles Darwin, is a spoken word ballet based on the life and letters of the famous scientist. Also on the program are Triple Sextet, set to Steve Reich's Double Sextet, and Memoir, a solo to Bach.

Ballet Stars
Lauren Lovette. Quinn Wharton.

New York City Ballet principal Lauren Lovette tries hard to focus on wellness despite her busy schedule. Her Hydro Flask water bottle—a gift from colleague Indiana Woodward—is emblazoned with the words "Be Here Now," a daily reminder to stay present. Lovette also keeps two doTERRA essential oils in her bag, and starts each day with Citrus Bliss. "I put it on my wrist at barre, and smell it," she says. "It just keeps me in a positive mood." Another scent, Balance, is reserved for days when she's feeling particularly frazzled.

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Sponsored by The Rock School
From left: Sarah Lapointe, Derek Dunn and Jeanette Kakareka. Courtesy The Rock School

For more than five decades, The Rock School for Dance Education has been launching young dancers into professional ballet careers around the globe. Boasting distinguished alumni such as Beckanne Sisk, Michaela DePrince and Taylor Stanley, the Philadelphia-based institution has garnered a well-deserved reputation for pairing rigorous training with a tight-knit, welcoming community. Their summer intensives are no different, with a wealth of prestigious faculty members, many of whom are Rock School alums currently dancing at companies around the world.

What inspires busy pros to keep returning to their alma mater? We talked to three of The Rock School's buzziest alums about why they make it a priority to come back and teach:

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Ballet Careers
Roderick Phifer in Trey McIntyre's The Boogeyman . Bill Hebert, Courtesy BalletX.

This is one of a series of stories on recent graduates' on-campus experiences—and the connections they made that jump-started their dance careers. Roderick Phifer graduated from University of the Arts with a BFA in dance in 2017.

While walking out of a technique class during the first semester of his senior year at Philadelphia's University of the Arts, Roderick Phifer was approached with an unexpected offer. BalletX needed a guest artist for an upcoming performance, and after seeing Phifer perform in one of his senior shows, a UArts alumnus dancing with the company had offered up his name. Phifer ran straight from his technique class to a company class with BalletX, and the troupe's artistic leadership quickly gave him the green light to perform. "It was so last-minute, that, I kid you not, I had three rehearsals," he says. He performed with BalletX as a guest artist that fall, auditioned for an open company position in the spring and had a contract by the end of his senior year.

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Courtesy Apolla

Ballet dancers today are asked to do more with their bodies than ever before. The physical demands of a ballet career can take an immense toll on a dancer's joints and muscles—subjecting them to pain, inflammation and an increased risk of injury. Considering all that is required of today's dancers, having a top-notch recovery regime is paramount.

Enter Apolla Performance Wear, which is meeting ballet's physical demands with a line of compression footwear that is speeding up the recovery process for professional dancers by reducing inflammation and stabilizing the joints.

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