There have been rumblings about Wendy Whelan's New York City Ballet retirement for a while now. As of this morning, it's official: The revered principal dancer will take her final bow with the company on October 18.
There's no word yet on what she'll dance for that last show, the culmination of three decades of extraordinary work with NYCB. Yet, however emotional that moment is guaranteed to be, this is just the end of one chapter in Whelan's remarkable career.
Complexions Contemporary Ballet co-artistic director Dwight Rhoden is bringing F. Scott Fitzgerald's iconic The Great Gatsby to the stage. The work will premiere in Russia in October 2014 before embarking on a world tour. Though it has yet to be officially cast, the flashy trailer stars Ukrainian National Opera's Elizaveta Cheprasova as Daisy and Mariinsky Ballet's Denis Matvienko as Gatsby. And it seems to borrow a bit of drama from Baz Luhrmann's recent film adaptation. (If only Leonardo DiCaprio could dance his way into this ballet version, too.)
It seems like only a few days ago that Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev swept onto the international dance scene, bewitching audiences with their feats of daredeviltry. Yet it was back in 2006 that the pair made their breakout debuts as Kitri and Basilio in Don Quixote at the Bolshoi. They were babies, too: Osipova was 20 and Vasiliev, just 18. Here are a few exhilarating excerpts from that first performance. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!
Sometimes I wish I were best friends with all the world's ballet costume designers and wardrobe supervisors. They have such fascinating perspectives on ballet history and the dancing body, and they're gifted artists in their own right. Plus—at least according to the recent spate of behind-the-scenes videos that investigate ballet costume shops—they all seem to be really cool people.
Last week, we let you know about the Los Angeles auditions for the upcoming dance film High Strung—and got inquiries from a few East Coast dancers who felt left out in the cold. Well, if you missed the L.A. tryout, good news: The film, choreographed by Dave Scott, is holding another ballet audition, this time in New York City. (Looks like they still haven't found a dancer/actress for the lead role of Ruby.) It's coming up soon, too.
The whole reason we log on to Facebook or Twitter is to stay in the know about what's happening with our friends and family. But it turns out that overusing social media can actually deflate your self esteem. Studies have shown that people who spend more time on Facebook tend to have less self-worth and more frequent patterns of disordered eating.
It's news that, as a New Yorker, I am selfishly sad to report: American Ballet Theatre has announced that its The Nutcracker, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, will move to the west coast in 2015. Its last New York performance will be this December at the Brooklyn Academy of Music before it calls the Segerstom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, "home." Ratmansky's production premiered in 2010 and received instant praise for its fine use of students and quick wit.
Larissa Ponomarenko, long a revered principal at Boston Ballet, has been with the company through multiple versions of Cinderella—most recently James Kudelka's in 2005 and 2008. Now, as ballet master, she's guiding dancers through Frederick Ashton's classic rendition, which BB performs through this weekend. Pointe talked to Ponomarenko about the similarities and differences between the fairytale worlds of Kudelka and Ashton, and about dancing and coaching the ballet's title role.