Greta Hodgkinson and Guillaume Côté in Margeurite and Armand. Karolina Kuras, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada.

Onstage This Week: NBoC's Greta Hodgkinson Takes Final Bow, Justin Peck Premiere at NYCB, and More!

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


National Ballet of Canada Presents Crystal Pite Premiere, and Bids Farewell to Principal Greta Hodgkinson 

A world premiere by Crystal Pite highlights National Ballet of Canada's February 29-March 7 program. Pite's Angels' Atlas joins Wayne McGregor's Chroma and Sir Frederick Ashton's Marguerite and Armand. The latter also marks principal dancer Greta Hodgkinson's farewell to the stage in the title role of Marguerite. The longtime star joined the company in 1990, and was promoted to principal in 1996, and will be taking her final bow on March 7.

Justin Peck World Premiere at New York City Ballet

After a run of Swan Lake, New York City Ballet continues its winter season with mixed-bill programming. Classic NYCB II, opening February 26, features Jerome Robbins' In G Major, Christopher Wheeldon's DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse and a world premiere by resident choreographer Justin Peck titled Rotunda. The ballet is set to an original score by contemporary composer Nico Muhly, marking the first time the two artists have collaborated together at NYCB.

Boston Ballet Explores the Evolution of the Art Form

Boston Ballet shows the progression of ballet with a program titled rEVOLUTION, running February 27-March 8. The mixed-bill brings three famed choreographers' works together: George Balanchine's Agon joins Jerome Robbins' Glass Pieces and William Forsythe's In the middle, somewhat elevated.

Houston Ballet Celebrates 50th Anniversary Season with "The Sleeping Beauty"

February 27-March 8, Houston Ballet brings back an opulent classic: The Sleeping Beauty. This 1990 production, choreographed by Ben Stevenson after Marius Petipa, features sets and costumes by Desmond Heeley and is being presented as part of the company's 50th anniversary season. Plus, Houston Ballet created one of its hilarious promo videos for the occasion, this time starring Carabosse.

A Triple Bill of World Premieres at Louisville Ballet 

Antipodes, Louisville Ballet's February 28-29 program of new works, explores "A journey through fame, friction and a whole lot of glitter. It features three world premieres: Daniel Riley's Tonal, Tim Harbour's Odyssey and Lucas Jervies' 15 Minutes of Fame.

Los Angeles Ballet Showcases Balanchine Black and White Classics

Los Angeles Ballet's Balanchine Black & White program, running February 26-28, features three of George Balanchine's most classic, pared-down works. Southern California audiences can see Agon, Concerto Barocco and Apollo at The Broad Stage.

Parisian Glamour Comes to Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Jorden Morris' Moulin Rouge—The Ballet returns to Royal Winnipeg Ballet February 26-March 1. This rousing take on history's most famous cabaret follows characters Matthew and Nathalie as they seek love in Paris. Morris' ballet, featuring dramatic costumes by Anne Armit and Shannon Lovelace and live music, is back as part of the company's 80th anniversary season.

Aspen Sante Fe Ballet Brings Nicolo Fonte's "Beautiful Decay" to Aspen

Aspen Sante Fe Ballet brings an encore performance of Nicolo Fonte's Beautiful Decay to its Aspen home February 28-29. Fonte's ballet, exploring the juxtaposition of athleticism and aging, is set to Vivaldi's Four Seasons and contemporary composer Max Richter's reinterpretation of the same. Guest artists Hilary Cartwright and Gregg Bielemeier, both septuagnarians, return to join the company.

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Victoria Morgan with Cincinnati Ballet principal dancer Sirui Liu. Jennifer Denham, Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet

After 25 Years, Victoria Morgan to Step Down as Cincinnati Ballet's Artistic Director

Last month, Victoria Morgan announced that she will step down as Cincinnati Ballet's artistic director at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season. The organization's board of trustees has formed a committee to conduct a national search for her replacement.

Prior to coming to Cincinnati Ballet in 1997, the Salt Lake City native was a principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet and Ballet West, as well as resident choreographer for the San Francisco Opera. She graduated magna cum laude from University of Utah, where she also earned her MFA, and has judged several international ballet competitions.

Entering her 25th and final season as director, Morgan has accomplished a lot at Cincinnati Ballet, not the least erasing the $800,000 in company debt she inherited at the outset of her tenure. To right the organization's financial ship she had to make tough choices early on—the first task the company's executive committee gave her was to release a third of the company's dancers. In her continuing effort to overhaul how the organization did business, in 2008 she became both the artistic director and CEO and set about building the company's now $14.5 million endowment. For the 2016–17 season, with the arrival of new company president and CEO Scott Altman, Morgan returned to being full-time artistic director and helped lead the realization of the organization's new $31 million home, the Margaret and Michael Valentine Center for Dance.

A champion of female choreographers, Morgan has also choreographed numerous ballets for the company, including world premieres of King Arthur's Camelot and The Nutcracker. She has also helped orchestrate several company collaborations, including 2013's Frampton and Cincinnati Ballet Live and joint productions with BalletMet.

Pointe caught up with Morgan to talk about her recent announcement.

Victoria Morgan is shown from the side standing on stage right, turning to smile at a line of costumed dancers to her left during bows. She wears a patterned green dress with chunky green high heels and holds a red rose in her hand.

Peter Mueller, Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet

Why leave Cincinnati Ballet now?

It's been an amazing run and I have seen it all. I am not sure where I would go from here. I also feel there is a required stimulus and infusion of new ideas and energy that always needs to be a part of a growing, evolving and exciting arts organization.

What made you happiest at Cincinnati Ballet?

The people, from the devotion of patrons and donors to learning from and feeling the pride in work from the staff. It has also been so satisfying for me to choreograph on and watch so many dancers evolve in their dance careers and lives.

Were there things you wanted to do for the company that you weren't able to?

There were other collaborations I wanted us to explore and choreographers I wanted us to work with. It takes quite an investment to make those happen.

Your legacy includes actively creating opportunities for female choreographers. What motivated that?

I started realizing, in a profound way, the gender inequities in our art form. Because I was in a leadership position, I thought I could do something about this and try to get to a 50-50 balance of male and female choreographers. It took a little time to find women to step forward, but it happened. Now there are many more prominent female choreographers, including our resident choreographer Jennifer Archibald, and I am proud of that.

If you could handpick your successor, what qualities would you look for?

Somebody creative, charged up, and who can be visionary. Someone who has had a high-level experience in our art form. A leader who is demanding but also kind and supportive, and who opens doors to find new ideas while still embracing Cincinnati Ballet's philosophies.

What do you feel will be one of the biggest challenges for the new artistic director?

The important cause of DEIA (diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility). Whoever steps into that position has to have awareness of the culture of today's conversation.

Do you plan to keep choreographing?

I am not being proactive about it, but if the opportunity presents itself, it would be fun.

What's next?

I feel my next calling is bringing movement to the biggest segment of our population, baby boomers. I want to be part of an initiative that makes moving and wellness enjoyable and enlivens people.

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