Check Out These World Premieres, Tours and Collaborations Happening in February

February 5, 2022

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 pandemics 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.

In a black box rehearsal space, Ja'Malik stands in front of a group of male and female dancers as they create a tableau formation. Two men lift their female partners by the hips and legs, while a another dancer crouches low on the floor and another dances off to the side. They all wear assorted dancewear, the women in pointe shoes.
Ja’Malik rehearses dancers of Festival Ballet Providence for his new world premiere. Juliana Godlewski, Courtesy FBP

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 SaundersGhost Light, Sabrina Madison-Cannon’s …And Then There Were Five and artistic director Toni Pimble’s Concerto Grosso.

A female dancer in a bright purple leotard poses in fourth position on pointe against a building wall outside. The wall has a bold, brightly painted mural of a sunset over purple mountains and dark evergreen trees.
Courtesy Eugene Ballet

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.

During a performance, a large group of male and female dancers form three staggered lines onstage. They face front and stand on their left leg, crossing their right foot over their left ankle, and holding thier arms outstretched to the side with palms up. They wear blue and turquoise costumes, with the men in tights, long-sleeved tunics and blue ballet slippers and the women in leotards, short ballet skirts and brown pointe shoes.
Collage Dance Collective in Kevin Thomas’ Rise. David Rosenberry, Courtesy Collage Dance Collective

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.