Amy Brandt's blog

According to a report in the New York Times, Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre announced on its website today that it would not be renewing the contract of the ballet’s artistic director, Sergei Filin. Filin, whose contract is up in March 2016, made world headlines in 2013 when he had acid thrown in his face, an assault organized by Bolshoi soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko. Filin has since had multiple eye surgeries and is now partially blind.

 

Miami City Ballet is celebrating its 30th anniversary this coming season, and what better way to kick it off than by announcing promotions and company additions?

If you’ve been following season two of Teen Vogues reality web series “Strictly Ballet,” you know that the stakes are high for its anxious stars. The show, which follows six pre-professional dancers at the Miami City Ballet School, has been leading up to a major school performance—and MCB artistic director Lourdes Lopez is closely watching. For Carlos, Valeriia, Mayumi, Gustavo and Ella, their futures are on the line.

 

American Ballet Theatre just wrapped up its 2015 spring season, but that doesn’t mean newly promoted principal Misty Copeland is slowing down any. Yesterday, The New York Times announced that from August 25–September 5, Copeland will be dancing—and singing—as Ivy Smith in the Broadway musical On the Town.

 

Today, American Ballet Theatre announced that longtime company soloists Misty Copeland and Stella Abrera have been promoted to principal dancer. San Francisco Ballet star Maria Kochetkova and Royal Danish Ballet principal Alban Lendorf will also join ABT next season as principals (though they will remain principals with their respective companies), and Boston Ballet principal Jeffrey Cirio joins as a soloist. Corps de ballet members Skylar Brandt, Thomas Forster, Luciana Paris, Arron Scott and Cassandra Trenary have been promoted to soloist.

 

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.

 

Today, two of American Ballet Theatre’s longtime stars, Paloma Herrera and Xiomara Reyes, retire from the company in—what is sure to be emotionally charged—back-to-back performances of Giselle. Herrera, who has danced with ABT for 24 years, will say good-bye during this afternoon’s matinee, while Reyes will give her final performance tonight. The departure of both dancers marks an end of an era, and a sign of change for ABT’s future. In two seperate interviews, both dancers offered reflections on their careers, retirements and future plans.

 

In 2004, as dancers waited in the hallway for their usual morning class at Steps on Broadway in New York City, they could catch a glimpse of teacher Edward Ellison privately coaching individuals in a small studio near the reception desk.