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Wendy Whelan and Edward Watson Join Forces

Photo by Sean Malyon, Courtesy Royal Opera House

 

I’m still getting over goose bumps from watching Wendy Whelan in Restless Creature at the Joyce Theater two weeks ago. But now that her tour is over, this former New York City Ballet star isn’t taking any sort of break. July 9–12, she’s pairing up with Royal Ballet principal Edward Watson for an evening of five—yes, five—world premieres at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre in London. Called Whelan/Watson: Other Stories, the program features three duets by contemporary choreographers Arthur Pita, Danièle Desnoyers and Javier de Frutos. Whelan will also perform a solo by Annie-B Parson, and Watson a solo by Arlene Philips.

 

The program is slated to tour to New York’s City Center in the spring of  2016. But—and this is a very big but—both artists are offering a preview June 14 and 15 (as in, this weekend) at the Guggenheim Museum’s Works and Process Series. The pair will perform excerpts and participate in discussions with Desnoyers and Parson in the museum’s Peter B. Lewis Theater. For more information on how to see two of the world’s most fascinating movers in action, click here. Act fast--tickets are almost gone.

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Ma Cong in the studio with Tulsa Ballet. Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Without him we wouldn't have The Nutcracker, Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty. But how much do you know about Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the man behind classical ballet's most recognizable music? Did you know that the Russian composer hid his homosexuality for much of his life? He also struggled with depression; there's been speculation that his death in 1893 was in fact a suicide.

Tulsa Ballet resident choreographer Ma Cong dramatically recounts his life in a new full-length ballet titled Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music, premiering March 29-31. If you think a story ballet about the most renowned composer of story ballets set to, yes, a Tchaikovsky score, is a bit meta, you wouldn't be wrong. But considering the renewed importance of LGBTQ rights in society, it's a ballet perfectly timed to our era. In Russia, censorship still asserts that Tchaikovsky was not gay. The subject also calls to mind backlash surrounding an LGBTQ-themed work at Louisville Ballet just last month.

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The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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