Roddy Doble and Chrystyn Fentroy in William Forsythe's Blake Works I

Angela Sterling, Courtesy Boston Ballet

In the Works: 9 Projects We're Keeping Tabs On

Is it just us, or is there a new exciting project being announced approximately every five minutes these days?

While that might be a slight exaggeration, there's no denying that keeping track of all the major collaborations and musicals and movie adaptations and premieres can get overwhelming. So, we're compiling a list of the buzziest new endeavors that have been announced over the last month. They might be weeks, months or even years away, but here are some of the things the dance world has in the works that we'll most definitely be keeping an eye on:


In the Ballet World

Boston Ballet's 2021–21 season is chock full of premieres. The company's partnership with William Forsythe continues with two new works debuting in November (on a program with his Playlist (EP) and Blake Works I) and February (alongside works by Alexei Ratmansky and George Balanchine). In May, the ChoreograpHER program will showcase commissions from four women dancemakers: Dutch choreographer Nanine Linning, former Boston Ballet principal Melissa Hough, current principal Lia Cirio, and New York City Ballet star Tiler Peck (her first work for a major company, though she's recently choreographed for Vail Dance Festival and Hollywood action flick John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum).

English National Ballet artistic director Tamara Rojo will make her first choreographic effort with a new production of Raymonda. Part of her ongoing efforts to recontextualize ballet's classics, Rojo's take on the Petipa full-length will set the action during the Crimean War and take inspiration from Florence Nightingale as the protagonist becomes a young woman following her calling to become a nurse. It's set to premiere October 15–17 in Manchester before touring to Southampton, Milton Keynes and London.

Tamara Rojo, brown hair in loose curls around her face and wearing a white button down, black trousers and high heels, reclines elegantly in a wooden chair.

Tamara Rojo

Karolina Kuras, Courtesy ENB

National Ballet of Canada announced its 2020–21 season—its last under the artistic leadership of Karen Kain. In addition to appearances by San Francisco Ballet and the North American premiere of Cathy Marston's Victoria, Wayne McGregor is creating MADDADDAM, a full-length inspired by Canadian author Margaret Atwood's speculative science fiction trilogy of the same name. Co-produced by The Royal Ballet and boasting the same creative team as McGregor's Woolf Works, it premieres November 21 in Toronto.

On the Festival Front

Another year, another delightfully stuffed edition of the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. There's way too much happening to adequately summarize, but we have to give a shout out to Dorrance Dance. The company is taking over the entire campus July 1–5. Michelle Dorrance will curate the Inside/Out performances and premiere a new solo, she and Nicholas Van Young will transform a trio of their site-specific works into a new piece made specially for the Doris Duke Theatre, and living tap legends will set premieres on the company.

Phillipa Soo, Ren\u00e9e Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine Cephas Jones each extend one arm overhead as they snap, leaning into their hips. They wear shiny, pastel-colored dresses that nod to Hamilton's late 18th-century setting.

Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine Cephas Jones in Hamilton

Joan Marcus, Courtesy Hamilton

On Broadway and the Big Screen

History is happening in Manhattan (and everywhere else): Hamilton is coming to the big screen October 15, 2021. The stage production was filmed in 2016 while the entire original principal cast (and the majority of the original ensemble) was still on Broadway. But what would be done with the footage remained a mystery until this month, when Lin-Manuel Miranda announced it would be released as a film directed by Thomas Kail.

Miranda, of course, has no shortage of Hollywood projects in the pipeline. But one we're particularly excited to see is his directorial debut with the adaptation of Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...BOOM!—not the least because Ryan Heffington recently boarded the film as choreographer.

Another Broadway production headed for the big screen is David Byrne's American Utopia. Spike Lee will direct a film version of the critically-lauded production featuring choreography by Annie-B Parson.

Casey Nicholaw's moves will also hit movie theaters when Tina Fey adapts the Mean Girls musical into a film. Yes, you read that right: A Broadway musical adapted from a hit movie that was based on an overgrown "Saturday Night Live" skit based on a young adult novel...will now be a movie all over again.

The previously announced musical adaptation of The Notebook, boasting music and lyrics by Ingrid Michaelson, has set a Chicago premiere for September 22–November 8—though the choreographer has yet to be announced.

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Studio Bleu students Jaxon Keller, Samantha Halker and Alia Wiggins. Photos by Chris Stark

How Turning Boards and Practice Mats Can Revolutionize Your Dance Training

When it comes to equipment, dancers don't need much—just shoes and whatever can fit in their dance bag. But between rehearsals in the studio and performances on stage, one major piece of equipment often goes overlooked—the floor.

Dancers too often find themselves warming up on the concrete or carpet backstage, or wanting to practice in a location without a proper floor. For years, Harlequin Floors has offered a solution to this problem with its innovative turning board, offering a portable and personal floor that can be flipped between marley and wood. Now, they've revolutionized portability again with their practice mat, offering dancers the option to roll up their own personal floor and sling it over their shoulders like a yoga mat.

We spoke with experts from every corner of the dance industry to see how Harlequin's products have become their everyday essentials:

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