Jennifer Stahl's blog

Pennsylvania Ballet's new school is holding a second audition next weekend. The training program is set to kick off in the fall with 120 students. Dancers will learn a technique based in Balanchine, with a heavy emphasis on artistry and performance quality. They'll also have opportunities to perform with the company. The school just announed that current company member Laura Bowman and former principal Martha Chamberlain will join its faculty. Guest faculty will include current principal dancers Amy Aldridge and Zachary Hench and former principals Alexei Borovik and Alexander Iziliaev.

The Australian Ballet makes a rare visit to the U.S. next week. As part of its 50th anniversary season, the company is presenting a series of performances at New York City's Lincoln Center.

 

Looking at pictures from Jacob's Pillow, I always hear sounds of birds tweeting to the strains of Tchaikovsky. No, I'm not actually hallucinating; I'm just craving some great dance al fresco. Luckily, the dance festival’s 2012 season kicks off next weekend—and it looks like it’s going to be another great summer up in the Berkshires.

 

The one thing better than performing? When your dancing helps raise money for an important cause.

 

Jeraldine Mendoza has had quite the first season at The Joffrey—and it just got better. The 20-year-old dancer was chosen as the first performing artist in Chicago to win a grant from the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund in the Performing and Visual Arts. The award comes with $50,000 and a load of prestige.

 

Move over, Kanye. Florence + The Machine's new music video for the song Spectrum features great ballet dancers with real technique. The dancers from California's Southland Ballet Academy perform a twisted version of Swan Lake-esque choreography that gets "crazier and crazier," as co-director David Lachapelle puts it in a behind the scenes peek at the the making of the video.

The dance community in and around New York City is coming together to film an "It Gets Better" video. It's part of a global movement jumpstarted by the popular columnist Dan Savage to give young gay people messages about the potential of their lives, to inspire hope for teenagers who may be struggling with harassment.

 

Producing a show in New York is many choreographers' Mount Everest: the ultimate challenge, the ultimate dream. The Capezio A.C.E. Award, presented by DanceMedia, will give one talented dancemaker $15,000 to use toward their own NYC performance.  Two runners up will recieve $5,000 and $3,000, respectively. Previous winners include Travis Wall and Peter Chu.

 

Working towards a ballet career in New York City is more than just a dream for many dance students; it's a goal. And for a lucky few, it's their life.

 

Take a peek inside the classes and routines of top dancers at JKO, SAB and other prestigious NYC academies at dance212.com, where a new 3-minute episode airs every day of the week. A special treat this season is Catherine Hurlin, JKO's golden girl who seems primed for a fantastic future at ABT. Just look at that arabesque!

Ever wonder what the world would look like through the eyes of a ballet superstar? Pointe's editorial advisor, Kate Lydon, gave us a heads up yesterday about Daniil Simkin's amazing Instagram feed. The ABT soloist, who constantly travels the world, has a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes snapshots of ballet's best dancers, as well as images that simply capture his unique perspective on architecture, commuters, city life. They're beautiful and fascinating and delightfully stalkerish.