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

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

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.

Francisco Estevez, Courtesy Colorado Ballet Academy

When you're looking for a ballet program to take you to the next level, there are a lot of factors to consider. While it's tempting to look for the biggest name that will accept you, the savvy dancer knows that successful training has more to do with the attention and opportunities you'll get.

We put together a few of the most important things for dancers to look for in a summer or year-round training program, with the help of the experts at Colorado Ballet Academy:

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Everything Nutcracker
Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz as the Sugar Plum Fairy during a stage rehearsal for George Balanchine's Nutcracker. All photography by Arian Molina Soca.

For many professional ballet dancers, Nutcracker means weeks of performances. That usually translates to multiple casts—and important breakout opportunities for those in the junior ranks. On the afternoon of December 13, Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz made her debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy along with her Cavalier, corps member Austin Eylar. For the Brazilian-born dancer, who joined PAB in 2018 after two seasons at Houston Ballet, Sugar Plum marks one of her first principal roles.

"I'm really excited," says Golz. PAB artistic director Angel Corella appointed 12 casts of Sugar Plum Fairies over the run's 29 performances. "When I first found out, I was like, 'Pinch me!' I still can't believe it."

We caught up with Golz just before her debut to see how she prepared for her big break.

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Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy US Prix de Ballet

The US Prix de Ballet is taking an unconventional approach to the ballet competition—by putting the competitors' health first. After a successful first year in 2018, the Prix is returning to San Diego, CA this February with an even more comprehensive lineup of wellness workshops and master classes, in addition, of course, to the high-level competition.

Though the talent is top-notch, the environment is friendly, says HARID Conservatory faculty member Victoria Schneider, who serves on US Prix de Ballet's elite panel of judges. "The wellbeing of the dancer is the main focus," says Schneider, who awarded three scholarships to HARID at last year's competition.

US Prix de Ballet was born after its founders traveled to the Japan Grand Prix International Ballet Competition in 2016. "The company ran every aspect of the competition with professionalism, dignity, honor and precision," says founder Neisha Hernandez. "We knew we wanted this level of experience for America."

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