A ballet class is a ballet class is a ballet class…or at least that’s what I was trying to convince myself before my Boston Ballet company audition at the School of American Ballet. Despite the reminder from friends that I do pliés and tendus practically every day,e and that this day was no different, the atmosphere and my nerves made me feel as if even turnout was something foreign to me.
Now that Nacho Duato is at the Mikhailovsky, his former junior troupe, Spain's Compañia Nacional de Danza 2, is singing a swan song for his choreography: the young contemporary ballet dancers are currently dancing in one final tour of Duato's works. This weekend, they're performing at The Skirball Center in New York City.
After receiving the Youth Grand Prix Award in Youth America Grand Prix's Los Angeles Regional, I was already looking forward to New York. The environment in New York was so inspiring. After a few days my time came to perform in the Junior Women's Contemporary category. It all happened so fast: One moment I was doing my hair, the next I was warming up backstage and then I was performing in front of some of the most recognized people in the dance world. Pretty soon I was panting off stage.
Last Saturday, I went to see the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in Nearly Ninety, and I was pretty blown away. During the 80-minute piece, the dancers' energy never flagged or faded, and the ever-shifting patterns onstage continuously delighted my eye. Cunningham's choreography is in some ways so very abstract and stark, but in others, it reminded so much of modern dance's classical roots.
This weekend I was lucky enough to catch a performance of Protégés III: The International Ballet Academy Festival. This was the third time The Kennedy Center invited students from distant corners of the world to show off their elite training in our nation's capital.
This afternoon I got the chance to attend the presentation of the 2011 Martin E. Segal Awards. This year's recipients included School of American Ballet Student Meaghan Dutton O'Hara as well as filmmaker Laura Poitras. Each received $7,500 to advance their careers.
I went to the YAGP "Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow" gala on Tuesday night, and I've been thinking about it ever since. I was blown away by the variety and beauty of the dancing, especially by the likes of SFB's Yuan Yuan Tan, NYCB's Tiler Peck and Daniel Ulbricht, and Gallim Dance. The Bolshoi star Ivan Vasiliev and Ballet Nacional De Cuba's Viengsay Valdes finished the evening with the Don Quixote pas de deux, and I have to admit that, having never seen either of them perform, I was anticipating it with excitement.
I was filming a photo shoot for Pointe the other day, featuring ABT dancers Blaine Hoven, Eric Tamm, Alexandre Hammoudi and Daniil Simkin. Lucky me! They're all so cute. But that's not all I took away from that day. While I watched the guys figure out their poses and do them, I was struck by how different their attitudes (not the leg kind) were from those of the ladies we shoot. The women are usually much more intense, trying very hard to show off their best assets, be it extension, line, or even contemporary edginess. They tend to gravitate towa