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Check Out These Two YAGP Live Streams This Weekend

Courtesy VAM Productions

Raise your hand if you're excited for competition season! Youth America Grand Prix Regional Semi-Finals are well underway, leading up to the much-awaited New York Finals April 12-19. Even better, they're live-streamed, meaning you now have the perfect excuse to spend your weekend at home, watching ballet (while sewing your pointe shoes and stretching, of course).

This weekend features semi-finals in Seattle, Washington and Tampa, Florida. To see the full schedules and set up streaming, click here. Streaming starts at $13.99. Packages of 2, 4, 6 or 12 total viewing hours are available, and viewers can log in and out as often as they like.


The Tampa competition also includes YAGP's annual gala. The Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow Gala will take place on Saturday, January 5 at 8 pm at Tampa's Straz Center. The gala features a lineup of 14 incredible dancers, nine of whom are YAGP alumni. The list includes American Ballet Theatre soloist Skylar Brandt, San Francisco Ballet principal Sasha De Sola, Boston Ballet principal Derek Dunn, former Washington Ballet dancer Brooklyn Mack, New York City Ballet principal Daniel Ulbricht, ABT principal Hee Seo, guest artist Joseph Gatti and more (click here for the full list). While we don't know all of the works they'll be dancing, we turned to Instagram for a few clues.

YAGP Semi-Finals throughout the U.S. and Canada will be streamed live each weekend through March 17. You can also catch up on YAGP's "Ask the Expert" video series, where dance professionals share their thoughts on topics ranging from injury prevention to college admissions.

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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.

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