Oregon Ballet Theatre's Eva Burton and Peter Franc in William Forsythe's In the middle, somewhat elevated.

Yi Yin, Courtesy Oregon Ballet Theatre

Onstage This Week: NYC's Fall For Dance Festival Opens, Royal Winnipeg Ballet Celebrates 80th Season with New "La Bayadère," and More!

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


Premieres and Cross-Genre Collabs at Fall for Dance Festival

The annual Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center kicks off on October 1. Now in its 16th year, the two-week fest will bring together 20 companies from every corner of the globe over 10 performances—and for only $15 a ticket. The first week's line-up includes three jam-packed, stylistically diverse programs. The opening bill (October 1-2) features a Kyle Abraham commission for Misty Copeland and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in Crystal Pite's A Picture of You Falling, along with premieres by Caleb Teicher and Company and South African troupe Vuyani Dance Theatre. In program 2 (October 3-4), The Washington Ballet presents Dana Genshaft's Shadow Lands, sharing the bill with Mark Morris Dance Group, all-male Argentinian troupe Malevo and French hip-hop company Dyptik. Program 3 (October 5-6) rounds out the week, with The Mariinsky Ballet in Alexander Sergeev's At the Wrong Time and English National Ballet in Akram Khan's Dust Duet alongside Skånes Dansteater and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

A New "​La Bayadère​" Starts the Season at Royal Winnipeg Ballet

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet opens its 80th anniversary season October 2-6 with the Canadian premiere of Greg Horsman's La Bayadère at the Centennial Concert Hall. In this production, co-produced by RWB, Queensland Ballet and West Australian Ballet, Horsman seeks more authentic representation of 19th-century India, incorporating British colonial influences and elements of Indian classical dance. Listen to Horsman discuss his inspirations for this recreation in the video above.

Oregon Ballet Theatre Season Opener “ROAR(S)” with Excitement

Oregon Ballet Theatre starts its 30th anniversary season with ROAR(S), an ambitious mixed bill that pays homage to the company's history and vision for the future. On the program is Forsythe's In the middle, somewhat elevated, Balanchine's Stravinsky Violin Concerto and former OBT associate director and resident choreographer Dennis Spaight's Scheherazade. Above, watch OBT dancers rehearse with Forsythe repetiteur Agnès Noltenius. ROAR(S) opens at the Keller Auditorium in Portland October 5-6.

Ballet X Brings "The Little Prince" to The Joyce

The Philidelphia-based contemporary ballet company Ballet X returns to The Joyce Theater this week with the New York premiere of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's The Little Prince. Ochoa, winner of the 2019 Jacob's Pillow Choreography Award, reimagined Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's classic novella as a whimsical, abstract evening-length ballet. Just like the story, the ballet resonates with audiences of all ages. The Little Prince runs October 1-6.

Colorado Ballet Takes the Stage in "Don Quixote"

Colorado Ballet begins a run of Don Quixote this weekend with performances October 4-13 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver. The company last performed Don Q ten years ago and is bringing the ballet back to start off this year's athleticism-inspired season. Catch a peek at principals Dana Benton and Francisco Estevez rehearsing in the video above!

"Blue Suede Shoes" Arrives at Alabama Ballet

Alabama Ballet is bringing Dennis Nahat's jazzy Blue Suede Shoes to the stage in Birmingham at the BJCC Concert Hall October 4-6. The ballet, which premiered in 1996 and is set to a score of original Elvis Presley recordings, follows three friends through life changes and cultural shifts from the '50s through the '70s. The production is complete with sets and over 200 costumes by the Emmy-award winning designer Bob Mackie. Check out one of the ballet's stylized swing sequences in this rehearsal video.

American Repertory Ballet’s "Beauty and the Beast" Heads to Philly

American Repertory Ballet tours to Philadelphia on October 5 with resident choreographer Kirk Peterson's Beauty and the Beast. The company premiered this original story ballet set to a Tchaikovsky score in May, and now Philly audiences can see Beauty at Drexel's Mandell Theater this Saturday. Above, former artistic director Douglas Martin discusses the ballet's inception.

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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

Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy Boston Ballet

Boston Ballet Principal John Lam Opens Up About Leaving Home to Train, and Being a Dancing Dad

Who was a role model for you growing up?

Mikko Nissinen. When I was around 14, he retired from San Francisco Ballet and took over my school, Marin Ballet. He was my first male ballet teacher and role model in the dance world. Then he left to direct Alberta Ballet, and I went to Canada's National Ballet School. He later became artistic director at Boston Ballet, and when I graduated he invited me to join the company.

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