Onstage This Week: Penguins, Rock & Roll, Jane Austen and More
This week is bursting at the seams with ballet. Earlier this month multiple companies performed the same ballet (think Romeo and Juliet), but this week brings a truly eclectic mix of new works, company premieres and old classics all around the U.S. and Canada. We’ve rounded up programs by eight companies—National Ballet of Canada, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Houston Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Texas Ballet Theater and Indianapolis Ballet—to give you a sense of what’s happening.
National Ballet of Canada
In honor of Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, the Toronto-based National Ballet of Canada is presenting a mixed bill February 28–March 4 titled Made in Canada. The program features works made on NBoC by three of Canada’s most lauded choreographers: Robert Binet’s The Dreamers Ever Leave You, James Kudelka’s The Four Seasons and Crystal Pite’s Emergence. Check out the preview below.
Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Also in Canada this week, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet is presenting Petipa’s The Sleeping Beauty February 28–March 4 at the Centennial Concert Hall in Winnipeg, Manitoba. RWB’s first production of this classic ballet was back in 1992; they’ve posted historic photos of the ballet’s progression within the company here.
When Hurricane Harvey damaged Houston Ballet’s Wortham Theater Center this fall, the fate of the company’s spring season was unclear. Yet Houston’s arts community rallied to get the company back on its feet and helped organize a Hometown Tour. Houston Ballet’s spring season opens March 1–4 with Rock, Roll & Tutus at the George R. Brown Convention Center’s Resilience Theatre. “Tutus” refers to a costume exhibit on display in the lobby, and “rock and roll” references the four pieces on the program (the first three are company premieres): Trey McIntyre’s In Dreams, Stanton Welch’s La Cathedrale Engloutie, Tim Harbour’s Filigree and Shadow and Alexander Ekman’s Cacti. You can check out lots of great rehearsal footage—like the below video—on Houston Ballet’s Instagram.
American Repertory Ballet
Princeton, New Jersey–based company American Repertory Ballet is taking its full-length Pride and Prejudice on tour to Philadelphia this week. ARB will perform its original ballet based on Jane Austen’s beloved novel at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts from March 2–3. You can learn all about its genesis here.
Sarasota Ballet presents two company premieres this week: Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Dream and Birmingham Royal Ballet director David Bintley’s ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café. The program runs March 2–3 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. This is the first time that an American company has been given permission to perform ‘Still Life,’ a Noah’s Ark–type story of a colorful group of animals seeking shelter from a storm at the fictitious Penguin Café. If you love watching dancers dressed as animals, you can check out a full-length video of the ballet below.
March 2–4, Ballet Memphis is presenting four works created for the company in 2015 titled I Am a Child, I Am a Woman, I Am a Man and I Am—in honor of MLK50, a city-wide series of events organized by the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. You can watch the choreographers—Julia Adams, Reggie Wilson, Gabrielle Lamb and Steven McMahon—discuss their works in the below video.
Texas Ballet Theater
March 2–4, Texas Ballet Theater will present two very different works at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas: TBT company member Carl Coomer’s fiery saga Henry VIII is juxtaposed with Alexei Ratmansky’s impressionistic Seven Sonatas. Catch a glimpse behind the scenes of Coomer’s creative process in the following video.
The brand-new Indianapolis-based company will present “New Works” Showcase March 2–11 at the IndyFringe’s Basile Theatre. While exact programming has yet to be announced, the company promises an eclectic mix of dance highlighting choreography by members of the company and its artistic team. Here’s a video roundup of the company’s debut performances last week.