Maria Kochetkova presents Catch Her If You Can at the Joyce Theater this week. Manfredi Gioacchini, Courtesy Joyce Theater.

Onstage This Week: Stars Abound at the Fire Island Dance Festival, Maria Kochetkova Takes the Joyce and More!

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


Star-Studded Fire Island Dance Festival Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary 

Festival season is in full swing. July 19-21 marks Long Island's 25th Fire Island Dance Festival, a benefit series in support of Dancers Responding to AIDS. This year's line up is chock full of ballet stars and world premieres: Kyle Abraham presents an excerpt of a new work featuring American Ballet Theatre's Calvin Royal III, tap extraordinaire Michelle Dorrance debuts a world premiere featuring Robbie Fairchild, Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers Lucien Postlewaite and Christopher D'Ariano dance in a new ballet by Garrett Smith, ABT's James Whiteside has created a new work for colleagues Aran Bell and Catherine Hurlin and Christopher Wheeldon makes his Fire Island Dance Fest choreographic debut.

NYCB Returns to Its Summer Home

Saratoga Performing Arts Center has long been New York City Ballet's summer home. July 16-20, NYCB is back upstate with three varied programs: SPAC Premieres by 21st Century Choreographers, Tschaikovsky and Balanchine, and George Balanchine's Coppélia. For the past few years, NYCB dancers Peter Walker and Emily Kitka have created site-specific dance films to promote the season; check out their newest above.

Maria Kochetkova Takes the Stage at the Joyce Theater 

Since leaving San Francisco Ballet last year, Maria Kochetkova has been exploring a new path. Now she presents her own program, Catch Her If You Can, July 16–21 at New York City's Joyce Theater, dancing alongside four friends—Sebastian Kloborg, Carlo Di Lanno, Sofiane Sylve and Drew Jacoby—in works by Jacoby, Jérôme Bel, William Forsythe, David Dawson, Marco Goecke and Marcos Morau.

Newport Dance Festival Welcomes 5 Visiting Companies

July 14-21 marks Island Moving Company's Newport Dance Festival. This Rhode Island-based summer staple features five visiting companies from around the world: Thomas/Ortiz Dance, Breathing Art Company, Ballet Dallas, Matthew Westerby Company, Trainor Dance and CONTINUUM Contemporary/Ballet. All performances are held outdoors; each evening opens with live music, a Q&A and a short piece choreographed that day for a group of self-selected dancers.

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I have a terrible fear of falling when doing turns on pointe. I sometimes cry in class when we have to do new turns that I'm not used to. I can only do bad singles on a good day, while some of my classmates are doing doubles and triples. How can I get over this fear? —Gaby

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The Washington Ballet's Sarah Steele on Her At-Home Workouts

Ballet at home: Since she's not preparing for any immediate performances, Steele takes ballet barre three to four times a week. "I'm working in more of a maintenance mode," she says, prioritizing her ankles and the intrinsic muscles in her feet. "If you don't work those muscles, they disappear really quickly. I've been focusing on a baseline level of ballet muscle memory."

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Hiding Injuries: Why Downplaying Pain Can Lead to Bigger Problems Down the Road

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She notes that no one pushed her to keep dancing but herself. "I was 18 and was aiming to receive a contract by the end of the year," she says. "I felt so much anxiety over missing an opportunity that I was afraid to be honest about my pain." Pennsylvania Ballet's artistic staff were understanding and supportive, but Landa minimized her injury for the next few months, wanting to push through until the season ended and contracts were offered. But after months of pain and an onset of extreme weakness in her foot, Landa was diagnosed with two stress fractures in her second and third metatarsals. She spent the next three months on crutches and six months off dancing to allow for the fractures' delayed healing.

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