Co-Lab Dance in Gemma Bond's THE BALLROOM. Courtesy Co-Lab Dance.

Onstage This Week: Catherine Hurlin Stars in Joshua Beamish's Innovative @giselle, Traverse City Dance Project Takes NYC, and More!

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


Joshua Beamish's New Reimagining of "Giselle" Stars Catherine Hurlin

September 5-7 marks the world premiere of Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY's @giselle, a reimagining of the classic work set in the technological age. This new ballet, which looks at the famous story through the lens of social media and dating apps, stars American Ballet Theatre's Catherine Hurlin as Giselle, The National Ballet of Canada's Harrison James as Albrecht and Pennsylvania Ballet's Sterling Baca as Hilarion. The principal cast includes additional dancers from ABT, Ballet BC, Ballet Edmonton and Alberta Ballet II. Beamish's work makes its debut at the Vancouver Playhouse in British Columbia.

Houston Ballet Opens Fall Season with "Giselle"

After a quiet summer, the fall ballet season is finally starting up again. September 6-15, Houston Ballet presents artistic director Stanton Welch's Giselle. Choreographed after the Petipa original, Welch's version features sets and costumes by Italian designer Roberta Guidi di Bagno. In this new video, former principal Barbara Bears analyzes the titular character with current principal Yuriko Kajiya.

Texas Ballet Theater Presents "The Sleeping Beauty"

Texas Ballet Theater starts off its fall season with artistic director Ben Stevenson's The Sleeping Beauty. TBT transports audiences into this ballet's magical world September 6-8 at Dallas' Winspear Opera House, and then at Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall October 18-20.

Co-Lab Dance Presents Its Second NYC Season

Co-Lab Dance presents its second annual New York City season this weekend, September 6-7, at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center. Founded last year by American Ballet Theatre's Lauren Post during the company's summer layoff, Co-Lab dance will present three world premieres by Gemma Bond, Danielle Rowe and Martha Graham Dance Company dancer Xin Ying. The performances will also feature a screening of At The Time, a short dance film created by ABT's Cassandra Trenary.

Traverse City Dance Project Makes Its NY Debut

The Michigan-based Traverse City Dance Project makes its New York City debut on September 5 at Brooklyn's Triskelion Arts. Led by Jennifer McQuiston Lott and Brent Whitney, the seasonal company brings together dancers from across the country. This weekend's program includes new works by Whitney, Lott and guest choreographer Austin Reynolds. Also on deck is a work by Jakevis Thomason to music by Ian Chang; The duo are the first recipients of TCDP's choreographic fellowship #Pairings, which aims to connect emerging choreographers and composers.

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The History of Pointe Shoes: The Landmark Moments That Made Ballet's Signature Shoe What It Is Today

Pointe shoes, with their ability to elevate a dancer both literally and metaphorically to a superhuman realm, are the ultimate symbol of a ballerina's ethereality and hard work. For students, receiving a first pair of pointe shoes is a rite of passage. The shoes carry an almost mystical allure: They're an endless source of lore and ritual, with tips, tricks and stories passed down over generations.

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How Coming Back to Ballet After Years Away Has Saved Me During the Pandemic Shutdown

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I made up most of the steps, mimicking the ballerinas I had seen on TV and videos. At one point, Mónica stepped in and asked me to lead the class in a bow. I followed her directions and curtseyed in front of the mirror with one leg behind me and a gentle nod. I looked up to find myself in awe of what I had just done.

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La'Toya Princess Jackson, Courtesy MoBBallet

Join Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet for Its 2020 Virtual Symposium

Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet, founded in 2015 by writer and activist Theresa Ruth Howard to preserve and promote the stories of Black ballet dancers, is offering three weekends of interactive education and conversation this month through its 2020 Virtual Symposium. The conference, titled "Education, Communication, Restoration," encourages participants to engage in candid discussions concerning racial inequality and social justice in ballet. While it is a space that centers on Blackness, all are welcome. Held August 14, 15, 21, 22 and 28, MoBBallet's second annual symposium will allow dancers to receive mentorship and openly speak about their personal experiences in a safe and empowering environment.

The first event, For Us By Us (FUBU) Town Hall, is a free community discussion on August 14 from 3:30–4:30 pm EDT via Zoom, followed by a forum for ballet leadership. The town hall format encourages active engagement (participants can raise their hands and respond in real time), but the registration invoice also contains a form for submitting questions in advance. The following discussions, forums and presentations include topics like company life as a Black dancer, developing personal activism, issues of equity and colorism in ballet companies, and more. Tickets range from free to $12 for each 60- to 80-minute event.

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