Ballet Stars

Standout Performances of 2019: Audience Favorites

New York Theatre Ballet's Giulia Faria and Joshua Andino-Nieto in Merce Cunningham's Scramble. Julie Lemberger, Courtesy NYTB.

Over the past 12 days, we've been releasing our Standout Performances of 2019. Now, just hours before 2019 comes to an end, we're sharing what our readers loved this year. We were flooded with responses, so we're highlighting 10 of your submissions (plus an extra 15 honorable mentions). Read on for Pointe readers' favorite companies, casts and dancers. And lastly, a huge thank you to all who shared their favorites with us.


Ballet West Principals Beckanne Sisk and Chase O'Connell in John Cranko's "Onegin"

"Ballet West's Onegin with Beckanne Sisk and Chase O'Connell in April of this year was the most amazing show I've seen in recent memory. I wish I had bought tickets for every night of the show. They should be recognized for a truly beautiful and breathtaking performance." —Maribeth

New York Theatre Ballet in Merce Cunningham's "Scramble"

"I loved New York Theatre Ballet's performance of Merce Cunningham's Scramble at Danspace Project last March." —Susan

Complexions' Tatiana Melendez and Simon Plant in "Bach 25" and "Woke"

"This past February I was so impressed by Complexions' Bach 25 and Woke, which had their New York premieres at The Joyce Theater. Tatiana Melendez and Simon Plant impressed me the most." —Maria

Cincinnati Ballet Soloist Joshua Stayton in The Kaplan New Works Series

"Cincinnati Ballet soloist Joshua Stayton's performance at The Kaplan New Works Series in September was just amazing. His performance in Neat by Taylor Carrasco was so emotional that it brought me to tears. His performance in Swivet by Andrea Schermoly was so energetic that you felt your heart was going to burst from excitement. He is a wonderful dancer that brings so much emotion to all of his work that he brings the story of the choreography alive." —Liliane

Charlotte Ballet in Christian Spuck's "Leonce and Lena"

"My favorite performance of 2019 was definitely Leonce and Lena performed by Charlotte Ballet. It was my first time seeing a true avant-garde European ballet in America; very different and very contemporary." —Will

Bolshoi Ballet Principal Artemy Belyakov in "Spartacus"

"Without a doubt, the Bolshoi's performance of Spartacus in August at the Royal Opera House. Artemy Belyakov as Crassus blew me away!" —Euphane

The Black Iris Project's Houston, Texas Debut

The Black Iris Project in A Mother's Rite

Courtesy Black Iris Project

"The Black Iris Project is black excellence. Sitting through this ballet, I felt Jeremy McQueen's passion. He created beautiful and thought-provoking pieces which encompassed issues that exist in the black community. My two favorite pieces were A Mother's Rite and What Lies Within. These pieces shed light on topics people generally overlook, like grief and self acceptance." —Cortney

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Corps de Ballet Dancer Jonathan Breight in "The Nutcracker"

"Jonathan Breight, a corps member with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, for his performance of the Nutcracker Prince in The Nutcracker. It is his first year in the corps, and he performed a principal role with true artistry and pure technique. He is involved in the PBT community, even teaching for the school. He truly deserves recognition as he inspires all his fellow dancers and students, and is a good role model and humble." —Jennifer

Ballet Austin in Stephen Mills' "Grimm Tales"

Jordan Moser, Courtesy Ballet Austin

"Ballet Austin's Grimm Tales, choreographed by artistic director Stephen Mills and featuring the work of visual artist Natalie Frank. The ultimate collaboration between artists and the first ballet funded by the Butler New Choreography Endowment." —Anne

Arch Ballet in Sheena Annalise's "Two Steps Backward"

"Take notice of this creative ballet company, Arch Ballet. The director, Sheena Annalise is forward-thinking to say the least. She has mixed her performances with various classical techniques and modern philosophies to draw the audience into the beauty, message, form, style and pace with a truth to give you pause. I am honored to nominate their November performance of Two Steps Backward at Abrons Theatre in New York City." —Mariam

Other Favorites

Royal Danish Ballet in Gregory Dean's Cinderella

New York City Ballet principal Lauren Lovette in Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering

Smuin Ballet's The Christmas Ballet

The Royal Ballet and Company Wayne McGregor in Wayne McGregor's The Dante Project (Inferno)

New Adventures's James Lovell in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake

Boston Ballet's Full on Forsythe program

Francesca Hayward in the film Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words

Colorado Ballet in Septime Webre's Wizard of Oz

American Ballet Theatre soloists Catherine Hurlin and Aran Bell in Jessica Lang's Let Me Sing Forevermore

Ballet Magnificat in Jiri Sebastian Voborsky's Deliver Us!

Sergei Polunin in Romeo and Juliet, Rasputin and Satori

English National Ballet in Akram Khan's Giselle

Sacramento Ballet in Amy Seiwert's The Nutcracker

The Royal Ballet principal Marianela Nuñez as Kitri, Juliet and Manon

East Coast Contemporary Ballet's Unveiled program

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