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We've been saying for years that dance training has benefits that reach far beyond preparation for a professional dance career: The discipline and attention to detail fostered in technique class, the critical thinking skills acquired in composition, and the awareness and rapid reaction times required for improvisation can all carry over into other fields.

But what if a choreographic tool kit could have a more direct application outside the studio? Say, to city planning?

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Dancers & Companies
Barker in class with Royal New Zealand Ballet. Photo by Stephen A'Court, Courtesy RNZB

According to several reports from New Zealand–based news outlets over the past week, the Royal New Zealand Ballet is facing significant internal upheaval just a few months after Patricia Barker took over as artistic director.

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Dancers & Companies
Heinz Rosen and Jean Cocteau (and Unicorn) backstage after the 1953 premiere of La Dame à la Licorne. Photo courtesy DM Archives.

Sometimes we find gems in the DM Archives that are simply too wonderful not to share—for instance, these images from the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo production of La Dame à la Licorne, conceived and designed by French artist Jean Cocteau and choreographed by Heinz Rosen.

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News
Alexander Ekman in rehearsal with Paris Opéra Ballet. Photo by Ann Ray, Courtesy POB.

"What does it mean to play as an adult?" This is the question driving Alexander Ekman's Play, a new work for Paris Opéra Ballet that marks Aurélie Dupont's first big commission as ballet director. Though his witty, irreverent work has found a home with ballet companies worldwide, Ekman's choreography has never before appeared on the hallowed Palais Garnier stage. With POB's extraordinary dancers and massive theater at his disposal, one thing is certain: This is going to be fun. Dec. 4–31. operadeparis.fr.

Dancers & Companies
Original photo by Johan Persson.

The Anglophiles in our office (myself included) are pretty chuffed to hear that there's another Royal Wedding in the works now that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have made it official. And naturally, it got us thinking about that wonderful staple of classical (and not-so-classical) ballet, the wedding pas de deux. To celebrate, here are five of our favorite examples:

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Dancers & Companies
Photo by Johan Persson, Courtesy ROH

Whatever your feelings about Wayne McGregor's heady, hyper-physical choreography, we can all probably agree on one thing: We'd really, really love to pick his brain. And tomorrow, Dance Umbrella, a UK-based dance festival, is giving everyone the chance to do exactly that.

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News

Photo by Todd Rosenberg, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet.

Christopher Wheeldon's new Nutcracker for the Joffrey Ballet was huge news when it premiered last winter. The choreographer shifted the setting from the home of a well-off German family to the Chicago world's fair, making the hero the young daughter of a working-class, Polish immigrant sculptress. This month, WTTW Chicago, the city's public broadcasting station, will premiere Making a New American Nutcracker, a new documentary showing how Wheeldon and his high-profile collaborators made the magic happen. Premieres on WTTW11 and wttw.com/watch on Nov. 16 before appearing on public television stations across the country. Check your local listings.

Dancers & Companies
Jurgita Dronina, here in Christopher Wheeldon's The Winter's Tale, is one of the artists who donated pointe shoes for the fundraiser. Photo by Karolina Kuras, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada.

If you just realized that we're almost halfway through November and you haven't figured out any of your holiday gift-giving yet (something we absolutely, positively, cannot relate to at all), we've got a little suggestion for the social-justice loving ballet nerd in your life courtesy of Cloud & Victory.

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