The Little Prince is one of the world’s most beloved books, and one of celebrated Belgian Colombian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s favorites.
So when BalletX artistic director Christine Cox asked Ochoa to create a new full-length ballet that may appeal to young audience members, the choreographer thought of the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry classic.
The July world premiere of Ochoa’s The Little Prince, at the Wilma Theater, is one of the most anticipated new works on this summer’s dance calendar, in Philadelphia and beyond.
Here’s what else is hot this summer:
Bryan Koulman Dance Company (June 6-8, Performance Garage). Summer is the offseason, when ballet dancers take vacations and work freelance gigs. Bryan Koulman, a choreographer and teacher at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet in Narberth, is presenting a program of his new choreography to live music, using dancers from the Pennsylvania Ballet, musicians from the Opera Philadelphia Orchestra, and the jazz group Weather Report. Dancers include rising star Sydney Dolan (who was recently promoted to demi-soloist), Austin Eyler, Flavia Morante, Santiago Paniagua, and Lucia Erickson, as well as Brandywine Ballet’s Elizabeth Strenge and contemporary dancer Nikolai McKenzie. (BKoulman.Dance)
Jersey (New Moves): Emerging Choreographers (June 14, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark). In the fifth year of this program, six new choreographers have been mentored all year by Nai-Ni Chen, Carolyn Dorfman, and Randy James. Now the six are presenting world premieres at NJPAC. (888-466-5722, njpac.org)
Anne-Marie Mulgrew and Dancers Company (June 14-15, Performance Garage). Mulgrew is marking the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote — and addressing related current topics — in her 33rd annual home program. This multimedia program of dance and film features nine company dancers, as well as guest artist Ashley Searles performing the work of another Philadelphia choreographer, Asya Zlatina. (215-462-7720, annemariemulgrewdancersco.org)
Fresh Juice Fest (June 14-16, Mascher Space Cooperative). This festival will feature works by Mascher artists-in-residence matched up with other Philadelphia choreographers. The groupings (Mascher artists listed first) include Miryam Coppersmith with Steve Weintraub and Janna Meiring, Margot Electra Steinberg, and Bailey Roper, Christina Gesualdi and Shizu Homma, and the Old City Sweethearts with Swing Two -- Pamela Hetherington and Erica Corbo. (215-901-5226, mascherdance.org)
The Little Prince (July 10-21, Wilma Theater). Summer is generally the slow season for dance, but BalletX saved this most anticipated world premiere for July. Ochoa’s choreography, based on Saint-Exupéry’s beloved novella, is set to music by Peter Salem, who will perform on stage as a one-man band. (215-546-7824, balletx.org)