Nicole Loeffler-Gladstone's blog

What's better than the Nutcracker? The Nutcracker with puppies and kittens, naturally. This year, Sacramento Ballet has partnered with the Front Street Animal Shelter to feature adoptable pets in each of their 13 Nutcracker performances. The critters will have roles in the opening scene—a busy street—and in the party scene at Clara's house.

 

Without the dedication of dozens of technical crew members at each and every performance, ballet companies would be performing on bare, empty stages under flourescent lighting. Creating props, scenery, lighting and costumes for a performance is a huge undertaking, but the tech crew's work isn't done once the lighting is designed and the costumes are sewn. All of those materials have to be carefully transported to the theater, and the process of loading-in—setting everything up in the space—can take hours.

 

American Ballet Theatre and the Segerstrom Center--which have long worked together to present ABT, including some of the company's world premieres--are partnering to start a ballet school at Segerstrom's Costa Mesa campus. This news comes as part of the dance education windfall that L.A.

The arts are desperately underfunded in this country, and programs big and small rely on philanthropy to stay afloat. Ballet companies rarely earn enough income to break even, so philanthropy is essential to their continuation. While this is a less-than-ideal way to scrape by, we (readers and staff) all probably agree that it's worth the fundraising hustle in order to keep seeing and presenting great art. In the meantime we can work to change the way art is funded in the U.S.

 

Alexandre Hammoudi and Misty Copeland in Swan Lake, during ABT's Australia tour. Photo by Darren Thomas


(Van Le Ngoc's Vue de L'autre, photograph by Tristram Kenton)

 

The English National Ballet announced on Monday that next year inaugurates a partnership between the company and London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

 

Lauren Post and Luis Ribagorda in ABT's 2010 Innovation Initiative performance.
(Photo by Gene Schiavone)

 

The endless love affair between dance and fashion will never get old. Especially when photographic geniuses like Annie Leibovitz compose moments like this one:

Leibovitz's photographs for Vogue are usually whimsical, romantic and downright inspired. In these, she's succeeded again, capturing the magic of the Palais Garnier—home of the Paris Opera Ballet.

Ballet documentaries, why are you so few and far between? We have to wait until next summer for the documentary Black Ballerina, which promises a candid discussion of racial disparities in the ballet world. And the latest buzz— Another Adventure, featuring Joy Womack—is still making the indie festival rounds, without a release date in sight.