This week in ballet features exciting premieres across the U.S. and Canada.

Marcelo Gomes guests in Florida. The American Ballet Theatre principal heads to Florida for a guest appearance in Sarasota Ballet's production of Frederick Ashton's Two Pigeons. He will partner company principal Victoria Hulland on Friday, March 10 and Saturday, March 11 at 7:30 pm. Company principal Ricardo Rhodes and soloist Ryoko Sadoshima will dance on Saturday, March 11 at 2:00 pm. Gomes told the Herald Tribune that the role is a premiere for him, and the learning opportunity was part of why he wanted to dance with Sarasota Ballet.

 

Company choreographers. Dancers at Colorado Ballet have the opportunity to create work on their colleagues as part of CB's Attitude on Santa Fe program on March 10 and 11. The program includes Saudade by Fernanda Oliveira, which draws inspiration from the Portuguese word loosely translated to loss or blues, along with fellow dancer Sean Omandam's Pricks of Brightness. It also features REDbeat, a first time collaboration with choreographer Jairo Heli. Redbeat is part of Colorado Ballet's New Cultural Works, a long-term project meant to create new ballets that explore the state's cultural heritage.

A real boy. The National Ballet of Canada premieres Will Tuckett's Pinocchio on March 11. The production features a distinctly Canadian flavor, complete with lumber jacks, moose and Mounties.

L.A. Ballet's Triple Bill. Los Angeles Ballet performs three George Balanchine Ballets, including Prodigal SonWho Cares? and the company premiere of Divertimento No. 15. With performances on March 11, 18 and 26, L.A. audiences have plenty of time to catch a show.

For more news on all things ballet, don’t miss a single issue.

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The Joffrey Ballet's Amanda Assucena and Greig Matthews in Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre. Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet.

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

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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Herman Cornejo in Don Quixote. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT.

American Ballet Theatre's fall season at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater offers a chance to see the company in shorter works and mixed-repertoire programs. This year's October 16–27 run honors principal Herman Cornejo, who's celebrating his 20th anniversary with the company. Cornejo will be featured in a special celebratory program as well as a new work by Twyla Tharp (her 17th for the company), set to Johannes Brahms' String Quartet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 111. The October 26 program will include Cornejo in a pas de deux with his sister, former ABT dancer Erica Cornejo.

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Ballet Careers
Gray Davis with wife, ABT soloist Cassandra Trenary, after his graduation from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Courtesy Trenary.

When Gray Davis retired from American Ballet Theatre in July of 2018, he moved home to South Carolina, unsure of what would come next. Last month, just over a year later, Davis graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Today, he's working as a deputy for the Abbeville County Sheriff's Office.

Though Davis danced in ABT's corps for 11 years and is married to soloist Cassandra Trenary, to many he's best known for saving the life of a man who was pushed onto the subway tracks in New York City in 2017. The heroic effort earned him the New York State Liberty Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by a member of the New York State Senate. We caught up with Davis to hear about how the split second decision he made in the subway affected the course of his life, what it's been like starting a second career and what he sees as the similarities between ballet and law enforcement.

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