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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Dean Barucija, Courtesy Lopes Gomes

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In November, the French dancer Chloé Lopes Gomes went public with accusations of institutional racism against Staatsballett Berlin, first reported by the German magazine Der Spiegel. In the article, several anonymous dancers confirm her account. Lopes Gomes, 29, who trained in Marseille and at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, danced for the Ballet de l'Opéra de Nice and Béjart Ballet Lausanne before joining Staatsballett Berlin as a corps de ballet member in 2018, under then co-directors Johannes Öhman and Sasha Waltz. After the company told her in October that her contract, which ends in July, would not be renewed, she shared her story with Pointe.


I didn't know I was the first Black female dancer at Staatsballett Berlin when I joined the company in 2018. I learned that from German journalists who came to interview me almost immediately. I grew up in a mixed-race family—my mother was French, my father from Cape Verde—and I was educated to believe that we all have the same opportunities.

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Here are the basics of that plot: The Archer School of Ballet is the premiere conservatory in Chicago. During the first three minutes of the episode (no spoilers!), star student Cassie Shore is pirouetting along the edge of the roof of the school when she's pushed off by a hooded man (Her boyfriend? A jealous lover? A ballet master or choreographer?) and dies. Neveah Stroyer, who'd previously been rejected from the school, is flown in from L.A. to replace her.

While the series can verge on melodrama—the pilot does open with a dancer being pushed off a roof, after all—its depiction of the finer details of the ballet world feels spot-on. That was paramount to the production team. "We wanted the dancers to feel represented in their athleticism, and in the sometimes ugly business of making something beautiful," says executive producer Jordanna Fraiberg. "The show encompasses the grit and sweat, before it's wrapped up in costumes and makeup."

Catch "Tiny Pretty Things" streaming on Netflix Monday, December 14.

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VAM Productions, Courtesy YAGP

Are You Competing for the Right Reasons?

As a 17-year-old student at The School of American Ballet, I had little awareness of ballet competitions—and to be fair, at that time (the early 1990s), there weren't very many. Youth America Grand Prix and its many spawns did not yet exist, and the famous international events like the Prix de Lausanne seemed highly elite and out of reach. But I did participate in one competition (similar to today's YoungArts), open to high school seniors, in which a fairly nonjudgmental system gave competitors level rankings instead of numerical scores. In other words, there was no single winner; the emphasis was on having an educational experience and interacting with peers from around the country.

Even so, it was still a competition, and although I rehearsed my variations diligently, when it came time to perform at the event, I felt drastically underprepared. Unsure of how to properly warm up, fuel and pace myself, I was blinded by insecurity among the other dancers, who seemed so confident and mature. I hadn't even considered my goal—why was I doing this? Needless to say, I did not dance my best and came home demoralized, mad at myself, regretful and slightly embarrassed.

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