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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.

Francisco Estevez, Courtesy Colorado Ballet Academy

When you're looking for a ballet program to take you to the next level, there are a lot of factors to consider. While it's tempting to look for the biggest name that will accept you, the savvy dancer knows that successful training has more to do with the attention and opportunities you'll get.

We put together a few of the most important things for dancers to look for in a summer or year-round training program, with the help of the experts at Colorado Ballet Academy:

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Everything Nutcracker
Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz as the Sugar Plum Fairy during a stage rehearsal for George Balanchine's Nutcracker. All photography by Arian Molina Soca.

For many professional ballet dancers, Nutcracker means weeks of performances. That usually translates to multiple casts—and important breakout opportunities for those in the junior ranks. On the afternoon of December 13, Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz made her debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy along with her Cavalier, corps member Austin Eylar. For the Brazilian-born dancer, who joined PAB in 2018 after two seasons at Houston Ballet, Sugar Plum marks one of her first principal roles.

"I'm really excited," says Golz. PAB artistic director Angel Corella appointed 12 casts of Sugar Plum Fairies over the run's 29 performances. "When I first found out, I was like, 'Pinch me!' I still can't believe it."

We caught up with Golz just before her debut to see how she prepared for her big break.

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Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy US Prix de Ballet

The US Prix de Ballet is taking an unconventional approach to the ballet competition—by putting the competitors' health first. After a successful first year in 2018, the Prix is returning to San Diego, CA this February with an even more comprehensive lineup of wellness workshops and master classes, in addition, of course, to the high-level competition.

Though the talent is top-notch, the environment is friendly, says HARID Conservatory faculty member Victoria Schneider, who serves on US Prix de Ballet's elite panel of judges. "The wellbeing of the dancer is the main focus," says Schneider, who awarded three scholarships to HARID at last year's competition.

US Prix de Ballet was born after its founders traveled to the Japan Grand Prix International Ballet Competition in 2016. "The company ran every aspect of the competition with professionalism, dignity, honor and precision," says founder Neisha Hernandez. "We knew we wanted this level of experience for America."

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