Onstage in August: United Ukrainian Ballet’s New Giselle, International Festivals and More

August 8, 2022

This month, ballet companies debut classical reinterpretations, attend annual festivals around the world and take performances to new venues. Read on to learn about the premieres and international stars performing near you.

Vail Dance Festival Highlights

The annual Vail Dance Festival, directed by Damian Woetzel, runs July 29–August 9, featuring artists in residence Caili Quan and Roman Mejia. The Colorado-based contemporary ballet company Dance Aspen will perform Quan’s Press Play. Quan will also present new choreography featuring Mejia, as well as for Tiler Peck—to commissioned music from composer in residence Caroline Shaw. Mejia will also perform with New York City Ballet Moves and the Limón Dance Company.

The Limón Dance Company’s debut at the festival on August 1 celebrates the company’s 75th-anniversary season and features four works: Limón’s The Waldstein Sonata, Chaconne and Psalm, with Doris Humphrey’s Air for the G String. Dance Aspen, started in 2021 by former dancers of the disbanded Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, will perform six works on August 7, including dancer-choreographer Matthew Gilmore’s in the end.

Caili Quan, with her short dark hair down, jumps in a low contemporary coupé derriere in a flowy white sheath dress. Her arms make an "S" shape, her right arm bent at the elbow to point down and her left pointing up. She looks slightly down on the right diagonal, past her arm. She dances in light green grass and brown dirt, with trees beside and behind her, the sky a light white-ish gray behind her.
Caili Quan at Vail Dance Festival. Photo by Christopher Duggan.

Jacob’s Pillow Ballet Bookends: Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Miami City Ballet

The final month of this summer’s Jacob’s Pillow Festival begins with Alonzo King LINES Ballet taking the stage August 3–7. The company’s performance features King’s AZOTH, a collaboration with jazz musicians including Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran, with artist Jim Campbell’s bold lighting installation inspired by the element mercury.

Miami City Ballet closes the festival August 24–28 with a program featuring Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels, the world premiere of Margarita Armas’ Geta, George Balanchine’s Serenade and Jerome Robbins’ Antique Epigraphs. This tour celebrates Lourdes Lopez’s 10th anniversary as artistic director of the company.

Royal New Zealand Ballet Debuts a New Cinderella

The Royal New Zealand Ballet will celebrate the reopening of the St. James Theatre on August 3 with Loughlan Prior’s new Cinderella. Following the opening weekend, the company will begin a nationwide tour of the ballet, which features a new score by Claire Cowan, costume design by Emma Kingsbury and twists on the classic story—including new love interests and queer romance.

Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson, as Prince Charming, and Shae Berney, as Prince Dashing, dance together in a pas de deux onstage in front of a deep blue textured backdrop. Guillemot-Rodgerson wears white tights with black crowns down the sides, a black waist jacket, flowy white peasant blouse, a black and white striped bow tie, white dance boots and a black fabric crown with white trim. Berney wears black tights with white fleurs de lis, a black jacket, black dance boots, black and white neck scarf, and white fabric crown. They gaze into each others' eyes happily, Berney in battement a la seconde with his left leg, his left side leaning on Guillemot-Rodgerson for support. G-R, in a slight lunge, extends his left arm to the side and bends his elbow to hold Berney's hand as he reaches his left arm behind G-R's shoulders. A woman in a large white dress with black crowns, with a large white royal wig, faces her back to them in the right corner of the photo.
Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson as Prince Charming and Shae Berney as Prince Dashing in “Cinderella.” Photo by Stephen A’Court, courtesy The Royal New Zealand Ballet.

BAAND Together Dance Festival Returns to Lincoln Center

Ballet Hispánico, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem—five of New York City’s acclaimed dance troupes— will join forces again August 9–13 at Lincoln Center. The annual festival is part of Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City, a series of hundreds of free arts events open to the public.

The companies will perform repertory standards, including Alvin Ailey’s Cry and George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, along with the world premiere of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s One for All, commissioned by Lincoln Center.

The Yellowstone International Arts Festival Returns in Montana

On August 10, The Yellowstone International Arts Festival, founded by the Khan-MacKay family of dancers, will present Art on the Yellowstone, in Corwin Springs, Montana. The festival presents a collection of internationally renowned opera singers, musicians and dancers, including current Pointe cover star Chloe Misseldine, new Bavarian State Ballet principals Julian MacKay, Madison Young and Jinhao Zhang, and more.

San Diego Ballet’s New Dance Film

On August 11, San Diego Ballet presents The Moving Image, a 30-minute world premiere film compilation of dance videos created throughout the pandemic. Hosted at the LOT Liberty Station, the film features site-specific works by artistic director Javier Velasco filmed at iconic San Diego locations, including the San Diego Museum of Art.

Hamptons Dance Project IV Features Stars and World Premieres

Eight of American Ballet Theatre’s stars will perform in East Hampton, New York’s Guild Hall for the fourth annual Hamptons Dance Project August 12–14. HDP artistic director and ABT dancer Jose Sebastian brings the festival to his hometown as the performing arts center’s inaugural William P. Rayner artists in residence. The program includes world premieres by Houston Thomas and Luke Hickey and works by Adriana Pierce, Jorma Elo, Christopher Wheeldon and Justin Peck.

Tyler Maloney, Michael de la Nuez, Isadora Loyola, Thomas Forster, Catherine Hurlin, Carlos Gonzales and Jose Sebastian pose confidently on a bed of beach rocks and driftwood in the Hamptons, the sky behind them a light gray blue. They are dressed in various dancewear pieces in neutral tones, primarily black and tan. The men are shirtless. They all gaze into the camera calmly but confidently, some sitting down, some standing, and some lunging on the rocks..
American Ballet Theatre Artists at Gardiners Bay. Photo by Erin Baiano, courtesy Hamptons Dance Project.

United Ukrainian Ballet Debuts Alexei Ratmansky’s New Giselle

On August 13, United Ukrainian Ballet kicks off its tour of choreographer Alexei Ratmansky’s new Giselle in Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands. Ratmansky, artist in residence at American Ballet Theatre, donated his time to the new company, composed of displaced Ukrainian dancers, to create a premiere interpretation of the classical ballet, which will tour the Netherlands before heading to the London Coliseum in September. The English National Opera and Birmingham Royal Ballet will support the London tour by providing an orchestra, set and costumes.

Supported by the Dutch government and local businesses, UUB has taken up residence in The Hague since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ticket sale proceeds will go towards the United Ukrainian Ballet Foundation, which was established in the Netherlands last May to support Ukrainian artists.

The Sarasota Ballet Presents a Triple Bill at The Joyce Theater

August 16–21 at The Joyce Theater, The Sarasota Ballet will present a world premiere by Jessica Lang along with Frederick Ashton’s Birthday Offering and Varii Capricci, a once-lost ballet that returns to New York City for the first time since its premiere in 1983.

Seven pairs of partners dance onstage in front of a deep blue backdrop and swooping golden curtains that line the top and sides of the stage. The women wear various shades in adorned dresses, with stripes, dots, and triangles, as well as pink ballet tights and pointe shoes and matching head pieces with tall white flowers. Six of the pairs pose in a partnered penché, all facing toward the middle of the stage. The center couple, in yellow, poses in a partnered croisé arabesque in slight penché, her leg extending behind his head as she allongés her right arm on the high diagonal and her left on the low so her partner can hold on to her forearms. They look out toward the audience confidently.
The Sarasota Ballet in Sir Frederick Ashton’s “Birthday Offering.” Photo Frank Atura, courtesy The Sarasota Ballet.

Australia’s Ballet International Gala Returns

August 26–27, the Ballet International Gala showcases internationally renowned artists performing classical repertory staples. Among the star-studded program is Teatro alla Scala principal Roberto Bolle, who will make his Australian debut with Ben Stevenson’s Three Preludes opposite The Royal Ballet principal Yasmine Naghdi. Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition finalist Sheng-Yuan Lynch will provide accompaniment.

Staatsballett Berlin Dances on Water

For the second time, Staatsballett Berlin performs on the Spree River with From Berlin With Love, a boat tour running from Haus der Kulturen der Welt to Mühlendammschleuse and back on August 26. The program, danced onboard, showcases excerpts from Lab_Works 2022, Swan Lake andSharon Eyal’s Half Life.