News

Onstage This Week: Justin Peck World Premiere at Houston Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in NYC, and More!

Justin Peck rehearsing his new ballet, Reflections, with Houston Ballet. Lawrence Knox, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

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


Justin Peck Creates a World Premiere for Houston Ballet

March 21-24, Houston Ballet presents a program aptly titled Premieres, featuring the world premiere of Justin Peck's Reflections. With an original score by frequent collaborator Sufjan Stevens, this marks Peck's first time creating on the company; catch a glimpse of his process in the above video. The program also includes two company premieres: Jiří Kylián's Dream Time, set to a score by Japanese composer Toru Takamitsu, and Aszure Barton's Come In, a ballet for 13 male dancers.

Atlanta Ballet Showcases Ballet's Playful Side 

Atlanta Ballet's Look/Don't Touch program, running March 22-24, features three playful works: Alexander Ekman's Cacti, Mark Morris' Sandpaper Ballet and the world premiere of AON <All or Nothing> by former Boston Ballet principal Yury Yanowsky. Hear more from Yanowsky about his work above.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Brings Three New York Premieres to the Joyce Theater

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet brings three New York premieres, all featuring live music by concert pianist Joyce Yang, to the Joyce Theater March 20-24. The program features Jorma Elo's Half/Cut/Split set to Schumann's Carnaval, Fernando Melo's Dream Play to Erik Satie, and Nicolo Fonte's Where We Left Off to Philip Glass.

Boston Ballet Presents George Balanchine's "Coppélia" 

Boston audiences can catch George Balanchine's Coppélia starting this week. Boston Ballet presents the clever, comedic classic March 21-31; catch a glimpse in the above trailer.

Sacramento Ballet Nurtures Company Choreographers

March 21-April 7, Sacramento Ballet continues its annual Beer and Ballet program, wherein company dancers have the chance to create new work on their peers in an informal setting. This year, Sacramento Ballet brings in Val Caniparoli as a choreographic advisor and mentor.

Ballet Memphis Rethinks "Giselle"

Leading up to Ballet Memphis' run of Giselle next month, on March 23, choreographers Julie Marie Niekrasz and Pablo Sanchez dive into the ballet with Through the Veil: Giselle Redux. In this one night only performance, Niekrasz and Sanchez reimagine the classic through a modern lens, including new movement and music and discussion.

San Francisco Ballet's Trainee Program Makes Rare East Coast Appearance

On March 23, Jenkintown, PA-based Metropolitan Ballet Company presents an evening of variations and collaborations in Philadelphia. The program, including works by Jessica Lang, Sarah Mettin and Ashley Walton, will feature special guest artists from San Francisco Ballet School's Trainee Program.

The Conversation
News
Ashley Bouder in George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova's Coppélia. Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB.

Hollywood may have the Oscars, but ballet has the Prix de Benois de la Danse. Held every spring at Moscow's Bolshoi Theater, the prestigious international awards ceremony recognizes dancers, choreographers, composers and designers for their extraordinary work on and off the stage. This year's laureates, chosen by a jury, were announced during an awards ceremony last night, followed by a star-studded gala featuring many of the nominated artists.

Keep reading... Show less
Viral Videos
Still via YouTube

American Ballet Theatre principal James Whiteside is known for more than just his uber-charismatic presence on the ballet stage; He doubles as both the drag queen Ühu Betch and the pop star JbDubs. Whiteside's newest musical release, titled WTF, came out last week, and is for sure his most ballet-filled song to date. Both the lyrics and the choreography are jam-packed with bunhead references, from the Rose Adagio to Haglund's Heel to a framed portrait of George Balanchine. Not to mention the fact that he and his four backup dancers (Matthew Poppe, Douane Gosa, Maxfield Haynes and Gianni Goffredo) absolutely kill it in pointe shoes.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Crystal Serrano and Jorge Andrés Villarini in Christopher Wheeldon's This Bitter Earth. Rachel Neville, Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Crystal Serrano never envisioned someday joining Dance Theatre of Harlem, the company founded by Arthur Mitchell to show the beauty and uplift of classical ballet on dancers of all colors. Her career began with Sacramento Ballet, which she joined after one year in Pacific Northwest Ballet School's Professional Division, but her time there was cut short by illness. After recovering, she felt so worn down that she left dancing behind and enrolled at the University of Washington. But she soon realized she'd made a mistake. "I thought, what am I doing?" she recalls. "I had to dance." With a fresh perspective and renewed determination, Serrano took an apprenticeship with Oregon Ballet Theatre before landing a job with Ballet San Antonio, where she soon rose to soloist.

Keep reading... Show less
News
School of American Ballet students (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy SAB)

Do you have a "Strictly Ballet"–sized hole in your heart? Good news: There's an upcoming docuseries, "On Pointe," that just might fill it.

The School of American Ballet is teaming up with Imagine Documentaries and DCTV for the project. Though it's not yet clear where "On Pointe" will air, we do know that it'll follow talented SAB students preparing for professional ballet careers—much as Teen Vogue's popular "Strictly Ballet" web series did back in the day. But "On Pointe" marks the first time documentary filmmakers have been allowed access to the school, and it sounds like it'll paint an even more complete picture of the dancers' lives inside and outside the studio.

Keep reading... Show less