Check Out These World Premieres, Tours and Collaborations Happening in February
This February boasts dozens of exciting onstage performances. Here are some of the world premieres, collaborations and celebrations hitting the stage this month.
New Justin Peck and Jamar Roberts Ballets at NYCB
New York City Ballet’s winter season, which runs through February 27, boasts two world premieres. It kicked off in late January with Partita, by resident choreographer and artistic advisor Justin Peck. Inspired by the shared space of music, movement and their interrelation, the piece is set to Pulitzer prizewinner Caroline Shaw’s Partita for 8 Voices, performed live by vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth and with sets by visual artist Eva LeWitt.
On February 3, the company presented the world premiere of Emanon—In Two Movements by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater resident choreographer Jamar Roberts. Set to jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter’s “Pegasus” and “Prometheus Unbound,” the piece is Roberts’ first work for NYCB created for live performance.
Milwaukee Ballet’s Genesis Competition
Milwaukee Ballet’s biennial Genesis program, from February 3–13, features new works by three emerging choreographers selected through a submission process. This year’s finalists include Charlotte Ballet company member Nadine Barton, Oklahoma City Ballet principal DaYoung Jung and Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Price Suddarth. Each has three weeks to create a new ballet on eight randomly selected dancers. The winner, determined by a panel of judges, receives a cash prize and contract to create a new piece on the company in the future.
Three World Premieres at Philadelphia Ballet
February 3–12, Philadelphia Ballet presents three world premieres in New Works for a New World, a program reflecting on the COVID-19 pandemic’s unique moment in history. Juliano Nunes’ Alignment, delves into the connection between human intuition, core values and growth. Award-winning Spanish choreographer Alba Castillo’s Dalí-inspired The Persistence of Memory explores the illusion of suspended time, and Andrew Winghart comments on collision, union and new energy in Prima Materia.
Charlotte Ballet’s Innovative 1970
From February 4–26, Charlotte Ballet celebrates its 50th anniversary season with Innovative 1970, a triple bill of world premieres inspired by design, music, politics and literature from 1970, the company’s founding year as North Carolina Dance Theater. The program includes new works by 2019 Princess Grace Award winner Rena Butler, NCDT alumnus Ja’ Malik and Charlotte Ballet company dancer Andrés Trezevant.
Lauren Lovette and Trey McIntyre Premieres at Nevada Ballet Theatre
Nevada Ballet Theatre presents Two World Premieres on February 5, showcasing new works by Trey McIntyre and Lauren Lovette. McIntyre’s Crown Shyness, set to music by Claude Debussy, opens the program, followed by Lovette’s Back When featuring compositions by African American pianist Florence B. Price. Selections from former NBT company member Krista Baker’s The Current closes the bill.
New Commissions at Festival Ballet Providence
Festival Ballet of Providence’s black box series returns February 11–20 with Up Close on Hope. This mixed bill includes two world premieres: Fragments of Hope by Ja’ Malik the founder of Harlem-based Ballet Boy Productions, and a new work by Boston Ballet principal Paulo Arrais. The classical Pas de Quatre and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Returning Points complete the program.
Eugene Ballet Celebrates Women Creators
February 12–13, Eugene Ballet presents Celebration of the Uncommon Woman, a mixed bill featuring works by five female choreographers. The program features Nicole Haskins’ operatic Illuminations, in addition to the premiere of Eugene Ballet resident choreographer Suzanne Haag’s With Your Own Wings, Penny Saunders’ Ghost Light, Sabrina Madison-Cannon’s …And Then There Were Five and artistic director Toni Pimble’s Concerto Grosso.
The program also honors Pimble’s 44-year legacy as artistic director and co-founder of Eugene Ballet; Pimble is the longest standing artistic director of any dance organization in the country.
Collage Dance Collective, With Dance Theatre of Harlem
For Black History Month, Collage Dance Collective and Dance Theatre of Harlem are joining forces February 19–20 in Memphis for RISE, CDC’s annual winter program celebrating the legacy of the civil rights movement and its leaders throughout history. First on the program, CDC performs Kevin Thomas’ Rise, a commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., followed by Ulysses Dove’s Vespers. Then, DTH joins for a partnered performance of Geoffrey Holder’s Dougla, a lush rendering of a Trinidadian marriage ceremony between a couple of South Asian and African descent.
English National Ballet Comes to Chicago
English National Ballet is touring to Chicago’s Harris Theater February 24–26 with Akram Khan’s Creature, his second full-length production for the company. Inspired by Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Creature tells the story of an outsider whose recruitment into a military-led experimental program in the Arctic tests his resilience against isolation and the elements.
Two World Premieres at Ballet Memphis
Ballet Memphis presents its Winter Mix triple bill February 26–27 and March 4–6. In addition to George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, the company will perform a new work by Trey McIntyre set to music by celebrated country singer Patsy Cline. Company dancer Brandon Ramey will also premiere a new ballet about living in an increasingly automated world, featuring a score created by scientist and composer David Cope’s AI composition program Emily Howell.