Onstage This Week: From "Serenade" to "Swan Lake" to #instaballet

February 16, 2018

Following a week filled with Valentine’s Day-inspired romantic ballets including Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and Giselle, this week brings a varied mix of repertory from San Francisco Ballet, New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre (currently on tour in Chicago), as well as Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Swan Lake and Eugene Ballet’s collaboration with local band Pink Martini.

San Francisco Ballet

San Francisco Ballet’s program entitled Bright Fast Cool Blue is at the War Memorial Opera House through February 24 and features works by George Balanchine and Benjamin Millepied, as well as the SFB premiere of Justin Peck’s Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes. The photos that the company has been posting of Balanchine’s Serenade are absolutely gorgeous. From February 17-25 the company is also presenting Distinctly SF Ballet. This trio of works by artistic director Helgi Tomasson, Val Caniparoli and Myles Thatcher were all created for SFB. You can check out the program’s trailer below.


American Ballet Theatre

After stops in Washington, DC, Detroit and Lincoln, NE, American Ballet Theatre’s national tour continues at the Harris Theater in Chicago from February 21-25. Presenting eight works over just five days, this program feels like an ABT tasting menu, with audience favorites by Jessica Lang, Jerome Robbins, Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky, Antony Tudor and Benjamin Millepied, as well as the Don Quixote pas de deux. From this live stream with Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside to this preview of Christine Shevchenko’s incredible Black Swan fouettés, ABT’s social media presence while on tour has been on point(e).

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Can’t get enough Valentine’s Day? Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Swan Lake is running through February 25 at the Benedum Center. PBT corps dancer Emily Simpson took over the company’s Instagram during the production’s opening weekend; you can check out her peek behind-the-scenes here.

New York City Ballet

Following a 12-show run of Romeo + Juliet, the remainder of New York City Ballet’s winter season alternates between two programs, both opening on February 24. The first program, Stravinsky & Balanchine, pays tribute to the fruitful collaboration between the famed choreographer and composer, and features such NYCB classics as Agon and Symphony in Three Movements. The second, Here/Now, includes works by Benjamin Millepied, Nicolas Blanc, Justin Peck and Alexei Ratmansky, all created within the last eight years. Sara Mearns describes her solo in Ratmansky’s Namouna, A Grand Divertissement as “the hardest two minutes she’s ever performed.” Check out her narration below.

Eugene Ballet

Following its premiere in Eugene, OR, last weekend, Eugene Ballet brings its new program in collaboration with the Portland-based band Pink Martini to Corvallis, OR, on February 21 and then to Salem, OR, on February 23. The program will open with Val Caniparoli’s Tutto Eccetto il Lavandino (Everything But the Kitchen Sink) and then progress to a work titled Sympathique with music by Pink Martini, choreographed by company artistic director Toni Pimble, company dancer Suzanne Haag and Sarah Ebert. The work is part of an initiative Pimble started last year called #instaballet, where audience members have a hand in choreographing the ballet in real time with the dancers. You can read more about it here and check out the trailer below.