The Royal Ballet's Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae in Mayerling. Alice Pennefather, Courtesy The Music Center.

Onstage This Week: The Royal Ballet in LA, ABT's Met Season Comes to a Close, and More!

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


The Royal Ballet Brings "Mayerling" to Los Angeles 

The Royal Ballet heads to Los Angeles for two weeks of performances at The Music Center this summer. From July 5–7, the company presents Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Mayerling, based on the true story of the 1889 deaths of Crown Prince Rudolf and his teenage mistress. July 12–13, the company joins forces with choreographer Wayne McGregor and composer-conductor Thomas Adès for Adès & McGregor: A Dance Collaboration. For this landmark production of music and dance world premieres, The Royal Ballet is joined by Company Wayne McGregor and the L.A. Phil.

ABT's Final Week of the Season Features "The Sleeping Beauty"

The eighth and final week of American Ballet Theatre's spring Met season is finally here. July 1-6 the company presents Alexei Ratmansky's lavish 2015 reconstruction of The Sleeping Beauty. This week's run features a few exciting debuts: ABT ballet master Keith Roberts will have his turn as Carabosse, Katherine Williams and Catherine Hurlin will dance Princess Florine, Joo Won Ahn takes on Bluebird and Aran Bell will perform Prince Désiré.

SFB Takes on Ballet Sun Valley

Summer dance festival season is officially underway. San Francisco Ballet makes its way to Idaho's Ballet Sun Valley on July 5 and 7 with two separate programs. The first is a gala style evening featuring artistic director Helgi Tomasson's The Fifth Season and six other short ballets and excerpts. On July 7, the company presents three ballets from its 2018 Unbound Festival of New Works: Stanton Welch's Bespoke, Trey McIntyre's Your Flesh Shall Be a Great Poem and Justin Peck's Hurry Up, We're Dreaming.

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Maria Kochetkova. Darian Volkova, Courtesy Kochetkova

Maria Kochetkova on How COVID-19 Affected Her Freelance Career, and Her New Home at Finnish National Ballet

When international star Maria Kochetkova embarked on a freelance career three years ago, she never envisioned how a global pandemic would affect it. In 2018, the Russian-born ballerina left the security of San Francisco Ballet, a company she called home for more than a decade, for the globe-trotting life of a guest star. Before the pandemic, Kochetkova managed her own performing schedule and was busier than ever, enjoying artistic freedom and expanding her creative horizons. This all changed in March 2020, when she saw her booming career—and her jet-setting lifestyle—change almost overnight.

After months of uncertainty, Kochetkova landed at Finnish National Ballet, where she is a principal dancer for the 2020–21 season. Pointe spoke with her about her time during the quarantine and what helped her to get through it, her new life in Helsinki, and what keeps her busy and motivated these days.

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DTH's Alexandra Hutchinson and Derek Brockington work out with trainer Lily Overmyer at Studio IX. Photo by Joel Prouty, Courtesy Hutchinson.

Working Out With DTH’s Alexandra Hutchinson

Despite major pandemic shutdowns in New York City, Alexandra Hutchinson has been HIIT-ing her stride. Between company class with Dance Theater of Harlem and projects like the viral video "Dancing Through Harlem"—which she co-directed with roommate and fellow DTH dancer Derek Brockington—Hutchinson has still found time to cross-train. She shares her motivation behind her killer high-intensity interval training at Studio IX on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

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As Ballet Looks Toward Its Future, Let's Talk About Its Troubling Emotional Demands

As a ballet student, I distinctively remember being told that to survive ballet as a profession, one must be exceptionally thick-skinned and resilient. I always assumed it was because of the physically demanding nature of ballet: long rehearsal hours, challenging and stressful performances, and physical pain.

It wasn't until I joined a ballet company that I learned the true meaning behind those words: that the reason one needs thick skin is not because of the physical demands, but because of the unfair and unnecessary emotional demands.

Undoubtedly, emotional and physical strength go hand in hand to some extent. But the kind of emotional demand I am talking about here is different; it is not the strength one finds in oneself in moments of fatigue or unwillingness. It is the strength one must have when being bullied, humiliated, screamed at, manipulated or harassed.

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