After retiring from her illustrious career dancing for then directing the Finnish National Ballet, Doris Laine wasn't about to take up knitting. Instead, she created the Helsinki International Ballet Competition. Now in its seventh iteration, HIBC will accept 100 promising young dancers to fly to Finland to compete this summer. Applications are open until January 31.
Dates: May 29–June 7
Location: Finnish National Opera House in Helsinki, Finland
Recently, I was lucky enough to get some gorgeous photographs of dancers from San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet to post in pointemagazine.com's web exclusives section. Most of the images we run in Pointe feature professionals.
South Africa seems like an unlikely place for ballet. But Cape Town actually attracts its fair share of top talent, especially since the inception of the Cape Town Internationl Ballet Competition in 2008. Royal Ballet director designate Kevin O'Hare, Washington Ballet director Septime Webre, National Ballet School of Cuba director Ramona de Saá and other powerful players will be there this spring to judge promising young dancers from around the world.
Dates: February 27 to March 4
Location: Artscape Opera House in Cape Town, South Africa
Maybe I'm a snob, but I always saw 3D movies as a gimmicky fad that should never have left the '80s. Dance films in 3D seemed especially specious. Do you really want Giselle jumping out of the screen at you?
The French style of ballet has always been one of my favorites. I love that elongated line, that precision, that elegance. Francois Perron, a graduate of the Paris Opera Ballet School, recently opened the French Academie of Ballet in New York City, and this month he's offering a French Masters' Workshop to give students a quick immersion into the French style. Students will take technique, variations, partnering, and even jazz, modern and Gaga from top-notch French teachers.
If dreams of becoming the next Alexei Ratmansky are dancing in your head, it's time to start creating some work. There are endless outlets for budding choreographers, and now there's one specifically for those ages 18 to 25: the Young Choreographer's Festival. Entering its third year, this annual event gives 10 to 12 dancemakers a chance to present their work at New York City's Symphony Space.
Date: June 2, 2012
Location: Symphony Space in New York City
To apply: Send an application, $50 and DVD of your work by January 31
For Pointe's December/January issue, photographer Matthew Murphy went behind the scenes of Daniel Ulbricht's "Dance Against Cancer" benefit. The event, featuring performances by dancers from all over, raised $30,000 for the American Cancer Society. Murphy captured splendid shots of the dancers rehearsing, organizing, performing, texting, giggling, getting dressed, and more.
A month after retiring from New York City Ballet, Benjamin Millepied is launching a new dance company in California, called L.A. Dance Project. He has a commission, expected to last for two years, from the Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center. Millepied previously had a pick-up troupe (called both Danses Concertantes and Benjamin Millepied & Company) in which he used NYCB and American Ballet Theatre dancers during their summer breaks.