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Onstage This Week: NYCB's 2019-20 Season Opens, Claudia Schreier World Premiere at Atlanta Ballet, and More!

Gene Schiavone, Courtesy Boston Ballet

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


New York City Ballet's Fall Season Opens With "Jewels"

New York City Ballet's four-week fall season opens September 17. The first week alternates between two different programs. The first is George Balanchine's glamorous full-length Jewels, and the second is a mixed bill featuring Balanchine's Raymonda Variations and his avant-garde Variations Pour une Porte et un Soupir, as well as Christopher Wheeldon's DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse.

Claudia Schreier World Premiere Highlights Atlanta Ballet Mixed Bill

Atlanta Ballet's 2019-20 season opens with a collection of emotionally-charged works September 20-22. The program includes Ricardo Amarante's Love Fear Loss, Liam Scarlett's Vespertine, the world premiere of Claudia Schreier's First Impulse and Dwight Rhoden's Woke (Excerpts). Rhoden's work will be danced by guest artists from Complexions Contemporary Ballet, giving audiences a taste of Rhoden's style before he returns to Atlanta in February to create a new work for the company.

Two World Premieres Take Center Stage in Houston

Houston Ballet presents a mixed repertoire program September 19-29 with the tagline: "Locally grown. World renowned." The bill features four works, including two world premieres. First up are James Kudelka's Passion and Edwaard Liang's Murmuration. These are followed by Houston Ballet soloist Oliver Halkowich's first solo choreographic work for the company, and a world premiere by modern choreographer Zhang Disha.

Boston Ballet Brings Back "Giselle" 

Boston Ballet brings back a classic September 19-29: Giselle, adapted by former principal dancer and current ballet master Larissa Ponomarenko. The company has released a series of videos leading up to the run, including spotlights on the characters of Myrtha and Albrecht, but our favorite is obviously the above introduction to Griffin, who will playing the role of the Irish Wolfhound (for which he's always in character).

"Romeo and Juliet" Returns to Nashville Ballet

Nashville Ballet starts off its season with artistic director Paul Vasterling's Romeo and Juliet. William Shakespeare's famously star-crossed lovers get their turn on the stage September 20-22; check out the dramatic trailer above.

"Carmina Burana" Opens Ballet Austin's 2019-20 Season

Ballet Austin artistic director Stephen Mill's full-length Carmina Burana opens the company's season September 20-22. Mills' production features Carl Off's famous score performed live by Conspirare Symphonic Choir, Conspirare Youth Choirs and Austin Symphony Orchestra.

Company Dancer Rex Wheeler Presents World Premiere at Smuin Ballet

September 20-21, Smuin Ballet brings its Dance Series 01 to the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, CA. The triple bill includes James Kudelka's The Man in Black, Michael Smuin's Carmina Burana and the world premiere of company member Rex Wheeler's Take Five.

American Repertory Ballet's Mixed Rep Program Includes World Premiere by Riccardo de Nigris

American Repertory Ballet kicks of its season September 20-22 at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, the company's brand new full-time home, with four versatile works. The New Heights program includes Paul Taylor's Airs, Ethan Stiefel's Overture, the world premiere of Riccardo De Nigris' Beyond the Normal and Septime Webre's Fluctuating Hemlines.

Francisco Estevez, Courtesy Colorado Ballet Academy

When you're looking for a ballet program to take you to the next level, there are a lot of factors to consider. While it's tempting to look for the biggest name that will accept you, the savvy dancer knows that successful training has more to do with the attention and opportunities you'll get.

We put together a few of the most important things for dancers to look for in a summer or year-round training program, with the help of the experts at Colorado Ballet Academy:

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Everything Nutcracker
Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz as the Sugar Plum Fairy during a stage rehearsal for George Balanchine's Nutcracker. All photography by Arian Molina Soca.

For many professional ballet dancers, Nutcracker means weeks of performances. That usually translates to multiple casts—and important breakout opportunities for those in the junior ranks. On the afternoon of December 13, Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz made her debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy along with her Cavalier, corps member Austin Eylar. For the Brazilian-born dancer, who joined PAB in 2018 after two seasons at Houston Ballet, Sugar Plum marks one of her first principal roles.

"I'm really excited," says Golz. PAB artistic director Angel Corella appointed 12 casts of Sugar Plum Fairies over the run's 29 performances. "When I first found out, I was like, 'Pinch me!' I still can't believe it."

We caught up with Golz just before her debut to see how she prepared for her big break.

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Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy US Prix de Ballet

The US Prix de Ballet is taking an unconventional approach to the ballet competition—by putting the competitors' health first. After a successful first year in 2018, the Prix is returning to San Diego, CA this February with an even more comprehensive lineup of wellness workshops and master classes, in addition, of course, to the high-level competition.

Though the talent is top-notch, the environment is friendly, says HARID Conservatory faculty member Victoria Schneider, who serves on US Prix de Ballet's elite panel of judges. "The wellbeing of the dancer is the main focus," says Schneider, who awarded three scholarships to HARID at last year's competition.

US Prix de Ballet was born after its founders traveled to the Japan Grand Prix International Ballet Competition in 2016. "The company ran every aspect of the competition with professionalism, dignity, honor and precision," says founder Neisha Hernandez. "We knew we wanted this level of experience for America."

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