Richmond Ballet's Maggie Small and Fernando Sabino in Ma Cong's Luminitza. Both dancers retire from the stage this season.

Sarah Ferguson, Courtesy Richmond Ballet

Onstage This Week: NYCB's Fall Fashion Gala, Richmond Ballet's Maggie Small Retires and More!

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


NYCB's Annual Fall Fashion Gala Features World Premieres by Lauren Lovette and Edwaard Liang

September 26 marks one of ballet's most glamorous days of the year: New York City Ballet's annual Fall Fashion Gala, which pairs couture designers with choreographers. This year's program features world premieres by principal dancer Lauren Lovette and BalletMet artistic director and former NYCB soloist Edwaard Liang. Lovette's work, The Shaded Line, features costumes designed by Zac Posen; Liang has collaborated with Anna Sui on his new ballet Lineage. The gala program also includes George Balanchine's Symphony in C. Audiences will have the chance to see these three pieces, joined by Jerome Robbins' Opus 19/The Dreamer, on select dates throughout the remaining few weeks of NYCB's fall season.

Beloved Richmond Ballet Dancer Maggie Small Takes Her Final Bow

September 27-29, Richmond Ballet presents two major works: George Balanchine's Theme and Variations and John Butler's Carmina Burana. These performances mark longtime company dancer Maggie Small's retirement from the stage. A Richmond native, Small joined Richmond Ballet in 2005 after participating in its trainee and apprentice programs. She's been celebrated in the title roles of Butler's Portrait of Billie and Malcom Burn's Cinderella, among many others.

Pacific Northwest Ballet Opens Fall Season With Two Contemporary Classics

Pacific Northwest Ballet launches its 47th season September 27-October 6 with a powerful double bill featuring George Balanchine's Agon and PNB founding artistic director Kent Stowell's Carmina Burana. The set of Stowell's 1993 work, set to Carl Orff's famous cantata, features an elaborate 26-foot golden wheel designed by Ming Cho Lee.

Fort Wayne Ballet Revives Rarely Seen Edward Stierle Ballet

Fort Wayne Ballet opens its season September 27-28 with a triple bill including Gerald Arpino's Italian Suite, Edward Stierle's Empyrean Dances and a sneak peek of next season's new Dracula. This marks the exciting revival of Empyrean Dances, which was last performed by the Joffrey Ballet in 1992. It debuted the year before, though the then 23-year-old Stierle tragically passed way from AIDS just three days after the work's premiere. Fort Wayne Ballet has been given special permission from Stierle's family to bring this piece back to life.

Indianapolis Ballet Celebrates Balanchine

The fledgling Indianapolis Ballet opens its second full season with a program celebrating the work of George Balanchine. September 27-29, audiences can see the company in three iconic Balanchine ballets: Allegro Brillante, Sonatine and Who Cares? Catch a glimpse of rehearsal for Allegro Brillante in the above video.

Smuin Ballet's Onstage in San Francisco

September 27-29, Smuin Ballet continues touring its Dance Series 01, this time to San Francisco's Cowell Theater. The program includes three contemporary works: James Kudelka's The Man in Black, Michael Smuin's Carmina Burana and company member Rex Wheeler's Take Five.

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Peter Mueller, Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet

2020 Stars of the Corps: 10 Dancers Making Strides In and Out of the Spotlight

The corps de ballet make up the backbone of every company. In our Fall 2020 issue, we highlighted 10 ensemble standouts to keep your eye on. Click on their names to learn more!

Dara Holmes, Joffrey Ballet

A male dancer catches a female dancer in his right arm as she wraps her left arm around his shoulder and executes a high arabesque on pointe. Both wear white costumes and dance in front of a blue backdrop onstage.

Dara Holmes and Edson Barbosa in Myles Thatcher's Body of Your Dreams

Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet

Wanyue Qiao, American Ballet Theatre

Wearing a powder blue tutu, cropped light yellow top and feather tiara, Wanyue Qiao does a piqu\u00e9 retir\u00e9 on pointe on her left leg and pulls her right arm in towards her.

Wanyue Qiao as an Odalisque in Konstantin Sergeyev's Le Corsaire

Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT

Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson, Houston Ballet

Three male dancers in tight-fitting, multicolored costumes stand in positions of ascending height from left to right. All extend their right arms out in front of them.

Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson (far right) with Saul Newport and Austen Acevedo in Oliver Halkowich's Following

Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet

Leah McFadden, Colorado Ballet

Wearing a white pixie wig and a short light-pink tunic costume, a female ballet dancer poses in attitude front on pointe with her left arm bent across her ribs and her right hand held below her chin.

Leah McFadden as Amour in Colorado Ballet's production of Don Quixote

Mike Watson, Courtesy Colorado Ballet

Maria Coelho, Tulsa Ballet

Maria Coelho and Sasha Chernjavsky in Andy Blankenbuehler's Remember Our Song

Kate Lubar, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet

Alexander Reneff-Olson, San Francisco Ballet

A ballerina in a black feathered tutu stands triumphantly in sous-sus, holding the hand of a male dancer in a dark cloak with feathers underneath who raises his left hand in the air.

Alexander Reneff-Olson (right) as Von Rothbart with San Francisco Ballet principal Yuan Yuan Tan in Swan Lake

Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB

India Bradley, New York City Ballet

Wearing a blue dance dress with rhinestone embellishments and a sparkly tiara, India Bradley finishes a move with her arms out to the side and hands slightly flexed.

India Bradley practices backstage before a performance of Balanchine's Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2.

Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB

Bella Ureta, Cincinnati Ballet

Wearing a white dress with pink corset, Bella Ureta does a first arabesque on pointe in front of an onstage stone wall.

Bella Ureta performs the Act I Pas de Trois in Kirk Peterson's Swan Lake

Hiromi Platt, Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet

Alejándro Gonzales, Oklahoma City Ballet

Dressed in a green bell-boy costume and hat, Alejandro Gonz\u00e1lez does a saut\u00e9 with his left leg in retir\u00e9 and his arms in a long diagonal from right to left. Other dancers in late 19-century period costumes watch him around the stage.

Alejandro González in Michael Pink's Dracula at Oklahoma City Ballet.

Kate Luber, Courtesy Oklahoma City Ballet

Nina Fernandes, Miami City Ballet

Wearing a long white tutu and crown, Nina Fernandes does a saut de chat in front of a wintery backdrop as snow falls from the top of the stage.

Nina Fernandes in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Miami City Ballet

#TBT: Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre in "Thaïs Pas De Deux" (2008)

When Sir Frederick Ashton premiered Thaïs Pas de Deux, a duet set to the "Méditation" interlude from Jules Massenet's opera Thaïs, the ballet was immediately acclaimed as one of his masterpieces, despite the fact that it is only a few minutes long. In this clip from 2008, Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre, then principals of the Bavarian State Ballet, give a tender, enchanting performance that is six-and-a-half minutes of pure beauty.

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Courtesy Carrie Gaerte, modeled by 2020 Butler University graduate Michela Semenza

Concussions Are More Than a Bump on the Head. Here's What Dancers Need to Know

Your partner accidentally drops you during a lift. You collide head-on with another dancer in rehearsal. Or you're hit in the face while you're spotting a turn. Even if you didn't lose consciousness, you may have a concussion, which can occur from a direct blow to the head or rotary force of the brain moving excessively or striking the skull.

As a dancer, your first instinct may be to keep going, but you shouldn't, says physical therapist and athletic trainer Carrie Gaerte, PT, DPT, ATC, who works with Butler University in Indianapolis and at Ascension St. Vincent Sports Performance. "What's really hard for dancers is admitting that maybe something isn't right," she says. "But the big thing about concussions is that your brain is not like your ankle, shoulder or knee. When your brain has an injury, that needs to take precedence over a role or a job."

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