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Sara Webb and Connor Walsh with Artists of Houston Ballet in "Swan Lake" choreographed by Stanton Welch. Photo by Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

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


The Australian Ballet's Triple Bill, Verve, Includes New Work by Company Dancer Alice Topp

Verve, a triple-bill program from The Australian Ballet running June 21-30 in Melbourne, will host revivals of works from resident choreographers Stephen Baynes and Tim Harbour, as well as a world premiere from company coryphée Alice Topp. Topp's Aurum is inspired by kintsugi, a Japanese art in which broken ceramics are mended using lacquer colored with silver or gold, so that the cracks are emphasized, instead of hidden. In Aurum, Topp applies that philosophy to the human ability to find beauty in vulnerability and imperfections. Completing the bill are Baynes's Constant Variants, which pairs neo-classical ballet with a Tchaikovsky score, and Harbour's Filigree and Shadow, a contemporary ballet featuring striking set and lighting design.

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From June 24–July 10, Houston Ballet is embarking on its biggest tour yet to Melbourne, Australia, hometown of artistic director Stanton Welch. Pointe asked demi-soloist Jacquelyn Long to keep a diary of her experiences.

June 30, 2016


Getting notes backstage after dress rehearsal. They were practicing scene changes on the stage, so we squished.

Opening night was a success! We had a dress rehearsal in the early afternoon with a different cast, and I think everyone was a bit tired. A few of us even napped in our dressing rooms to get a boost. There’s also a cafeteria in the theater, which is so nice. I wish we had one in Houston! Most of the dancers got their food and coffee there during the break.

The audience was packed for opening night. There were definitely some nerves in the air, but I think the cast felt very ready to get the shows rolling. The leads all danced beautifully. The show itself went very well from what I saw, and the audience was very responsive. There were even gasps during the fight scenes. We had an actual sword-fighting teacher work with us when it was originally choreographed, so it definitely gets scary. I'm scared on stage sometimes, and I know the choreography!

Before opening night as Katerina. Yes, I brought Cheez-Its to Australia!

After the show there was a reception with The Australian Ballet. It was very nice to mingle with the Aussie dancers. They were all so sweet and eager to help us with recommendations of restaurants and shops. Actually, everyone in Melbourne has been nothing but nice, from coffee baristas to shop owners. It makes traveling to a foreign country so much more fun.

I'm excited for another show tonight!

 

Xo,

Jacquelyn

(Photos by Jacquelyn Long.)

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