American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland is not the first African American woman to dance the iconic role of Odette/Odile. And some warn, rightly so, that the rich history of black ballerinas (Lauren Anderson, Debra Austin, Anne Benna Sims, Nora Kimball and Virginia Johnson, to name just a few) has gotten lost in all the publicity hype surrounding Copeland. Others complain that her PR campaign is an overly aggressive attempt to achieve principal status.
Mere weeks after her retirement from Pacific Northwest Ballet, former principal Carla Körbes has joined the staff of Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project as associate artistic director. Cörbes, who is serving as artist in residence at the Vail International Dance Festival July 27–August 10, has been elusive about her future plans up until now.
Pumpkin carriages and fairy godmothers are noticeably missing in Rudolf Nureyev’s production of Cinderella for the Paris Opéra Ballet. Rather than the traditional fairytale kingdom, Nureyev’s version takes place in Old Hollywood. As Cinderella, étoile Sylvie Guillem twirls in satin rather than tulle. When POB toured to the United States with this production in 1987, a New York Times reviewer called Guillem “a choreographer’s dream” and said that in Cinderella, she is “astounding in every move.”
The word "summer" conjures images of long days, warm beaches and endless sunshine, but we're often busier than we remember during those much-anticipated months. Whether you're packing up to head to a new summer intensive or fitting in extra classes at your studio to prepare for next season, here are three quick fixes for when things feel chaotic, to help you tap into an easy, breezy summer mindset:
Teen Vogue’s “Strictly Ballet” is back. The popular web series, which took us inside the lives of School of American Ballet students last year, heads to Florida and into the halls of the Miami City Ballet School. The show, which premiered May 20, follows seven MCBS dancers between ages 14 and 21, and from countries ranging from Brazil to Russia. Each faces the agonizing question of whether they’ll be successful in their chosen profession.
On a summer stage in 1845, nearly 170 years ago to the day, four superstar ballerinas put aside their bitter rivalries and graced a single stage. Lucile Grahn, Carlotta Grisi, Fanny Cerrito and Marie Taglioni—defining figures in ballet’s history—performed in Jules Perrot’s Pas de Quatre. Such collaboration between divas of the day was unprecedented, and Perrot choreographed the piece to showcase each prima’s particular talents.
Russian ballerina Olga Pavlova—best known here in the U.S. for her time with Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company and Metropolitan Classical Ballet in Arlington, Texas—had a rich international career. But her training years didn’t go quite according to plan. In Karen McDonough’s new biography, A Ballerina for Our Time: Olga Pavlova, McDonough reveals how Pavlova struggled to overcome body issues, jealousy and sabotage while a student at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy.
High school students and ballet dancers Adam Bernstein and Daniela O’Neil have been named 2015 Presidential Scholars in the Arts—one of the highest honors available to high school students. The third Presidential Scholar in dance is Anagha Prasanna, a classical Indian dancer.