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Younji-Grace Choi at the 2014 USA IBC. Choi is now a dancer with Cincinnati Ballet and will return to the USA IBC as a senior competitor this summer. Photo by Richard Finkelstein, Courtesy USA IBC.

Exciting news today: the USA International Ballet Competition has just announced its list of invited competitors for the summer 2018 competition. The USA IBC has invited 119 dancers from 19 countries out of over 300 applicants to compete in Jackson, MS June 10-23.

Since the last USA IBC in 2014 the competition has expanded its age limits; the junior category now allows dancers ages 14-18 and the senior category dancers ages 19-28. Of the 119 competitors this year, 53 are juniors and 66 are seniors. The United States has the highest number of competitors invited (52), followed by Japan (23) and South Korea (14). The other countries represented are Armenia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Columbia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mexico, Mongolia, Peru, Philippines, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

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San Francisco Ballet in Balanchine's "Serenade." Photo via SFB on Instagram.

Following a week filled with Valentine's Day-inspired romantic ballets including Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and Giselle, this week brings a varied mix of repertory from San Francisco Ballet, New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre (currently on tour in Chicago), as well as Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Swan Lake and Eugene Ballet's collaboration with local band Pink Martini.


San Francisco Ballet

San Francisco Ballet's program entitled Bright Fast Cool Blue is at the War Memorial Opera House through February 24 and features works by George Balanchine and Benjamin Millepied, as well as the SFB premiere of Justin Peck's Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes. The photos that the company has been posting of Balanchine's Serenade are absolutely gorgeous. From February 17-25 the company is also presenting Distinctly SF Ballet. This trio of works by artistic director Helgi Tomasson, Val Caniparoli and Myles Thatcher were all created for SFB. You can check out the program's trailer below.

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Eileen Frazer with Jonathan David Dummar in "The Nutcracker." Photo by Louis Tucker, Courtesy Ballet Memphis.

And 5,6,7,8... The countdown to the New Year is on!

Here's a peak at what five dancers from around the country are aiming for in 2018.


Eileen Frazer with Brandon Ramey in "Don Quixote". Photo by Louis Tucker, Courtesy Ballet Memphis.

Eileen Frazer, Ballet Memphis

Mindfulness: It's easy to get lost in perfectionism and the stress that comes with this career path. I want to remember to enjoy every performance and be fully present in experiences that come my way.

Be bold: I also want to dare to be bold, further develop the qualities that make me who I am as a dancer and find different ways to share my personality and experiences through the art form.

Family: Since I'm from Panama, I likewise want to keep nurturing my relationships with my family and friends.



Koki Yamaguchi. Photo by Colton West Photography, Courtesy Eugene Ballet.

Koki Yamaguchi, Eugene Ballet

Strength training: My dance resolution is to improve my technique with strength training and stretching.

(Physical) growth: As a short dancer I'm always trying to be larger in my movements.

Peer inspiration: I'd also like to learn new things by watching other company dancers such as Hirofumi Kitazume who performs dynamic jumps like the double revoltade and 540.

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