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Onstage This Week: NYCB and SFB Open Their Winter Seasons and More!

NYCB's Peter Walker will be back onstage in Agon this week. Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB.

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


NYCB Winter Season Opens on Balanchine's 115th Birthday

The winter ballet season is officially underway, and we couldn't be more excited. New York City Ballet's season opens January 22 and runs through March 3. Week one features two all-Balanchine programs. The first, opening appropriately on the 115th anniversary of the great choreographer's birth, features the Stravinsky/Balanchine "Greek Trilogy": Apollo, Orpheus and Agon. The second program includes three Balanchine works to Tchaikovsky: Serenade, Mozartiana and Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, which showcases brand new costumes designed by NYCB's Marc Happel.

San Francisco Ballet Opens With Don Quixote

San Francisco Ballet's Repertory Season opens January 25 and runs through May 12. The first of the company's eight programs is Don Quixote, on through February 3. Don Quixote is an SFB audience favorite; it was last performed in 2015, and the company is referring to it as "the stylish rom-com of classical ballet." In the above video, principal Mathilde Froustey talks through Kitri's Act III solo.

Sarasota Ballet Presents a World Premiere by Ricardo Graziano

Ellen Overstreet and Weslley Carvalho in Four Scottish Dances

Frank Atura, Courtesy Sarasota Ballet

January 25-28 marks Sarasota Ballet's Transcending Movement program featuring four unique works: David Bintley's Four Scottish Dances, Frederick Ashton's Meditation from Thaïs and Varii Capricci (a company premiere), and a world premiere by principal dancer and resident choreographer Ricardo Graziano. Former American Ballet Theatre star Marcelo Gomes is also back in Sarasota as a guest performer.

Ballet Stars
Karolina Kuras, Courtesy NBoC

It's hard to imagine the National Ballet of Canada without ballerina Greta Hodgkinson. Yet this week NBoC announced that the longtime company star will take her final bow in March, as Marguerite in Sir Frederick Ashton's Marguerite and Armand.

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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News
Alice Pennefather, Courtesy ROH

You ever just wish that Kenneth MacMillan's iconic production of Romeo and Juliet could have a beautiful love child with the 1968 film starring Olivia Hussey? (No, not Baz Luhrmann's version. We are purists here.)

Wish granted: Today, the trailer for a new film called Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words was released, featuring MacMillan's choreography and with what looks like all the cinematic glamour we could ever dream of:

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Viral Videos

What do Diana Vishneva, Olga Smirnova, Kristina Shapran and Maria Khoreva all have in common? These women, among the most impressive talents to graduate from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in recent years, all studied under legendary professor Lyudmila Kovaleva. Kovaleva, a former dancer with the Kirov Ballet (now the Mariinsky), is beloved by her students and admired throughout the ballet world for her ability to pull individuality and artistry out of the dancers she trains. Like any great teacher, Kovaleva is remarkably generous with her wealth of knowledge; it seems perfect, then, that she appears as the Fairy of Generosity in this clip from a 1964 film of the Kirov's The Sleeping Beauty.

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