Nicole Loeffler-Gladstone's blog

On Thursday, August 21, the Joffrey Ballet will live-stream a rehearsal of Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake. Wheeldon will be in attendance to coach the dancers, while Joffrey artistic director Ashley Wheater will host and conduct interviews with the dancers during rehearsal breaks.

 

Andrew Bartee, a former Pacific Northwest Ballet company member and current dancer with Ballet BC, will premiere his latest work—Dirty Goods—as part of the Wolf Trap Foundation's "Face of America" series on August 27. The piece was commissioned for Wolf Trap Foundation, and utilizes filmed site specific performance in Olympic National Park, music by the Portland-based band The Chromatics and dancers from Pacific Northwest Ballet.

No matter how weird it gets, contemporary ballet is still ballet. Sure there are gradations—and yes, there’s the eventual hair-splitting difference between contemporary ballet and contemporary dance—but when a ballet company performs something “contemporary,” it’s likely that the piece will fit safely within a handful of stylistic guidelines.

This year marked the 50th anniversary of IBC Varna. Though the competition has grown steadily more sophisticated and intense over time, no competitors were awarded gold medals this year. Two silver medals were awarded to the senior women: Hannah O'Neill of the Paris Opera Ballet, and Ye Lim Choi of Korea. Two bronze medals were awarded to the senior women, as well: Sara Renda of Italy and Hee Sun Kim of Korea. Senior men fared the same—the highest award was silver.

Roberto Bolle's gala "Roberto Bolle and Friends" had its annual performance today, in Verona, Italy. The performance featured an outstanding cast of dancers, including American Ballet Theatre's Hee Seo, Cory Stearns, Daniil Simkin and Julie Kent, Boston Ballet principal Eris Nezha, Stuttgart Ballet principals Alicia Amatriain and Jason Reilly, and ABT corps member, Skylar Brandt.

 

Leave it to Nigel to utilize all available outlets in his quest to bring dance to a wider audience. His latest project is Dance School Diaries, a web-based reality series that follows four Southern California dancers as they prepare for Youth America Grand Prix. 

The show will air each Friday, and there will be 14 episodes from July 18 to mid-September. The producers are also planning to release additional content throughout the show’s run. 

Though she is winding down her career performing with New York City Ballet, Wendy Whelan isn't retiring from the ballet world. This fall, she will join the faculty at Ballet Academy East, and will continue to share her vast experience with the students in the school's Pre-Professional Division. BAE—under the directorship of Julia Dubno and Darla Hoover—is already home to notable faculty, including former American Ballet Theatre principal Maxim Beloserkovsky.

What better way to celebrate the 4th of July weekend than by revisiting classic ballets that have acted as pillars of American dance? The wider dance world beautifully represents the diversity and complexity of what it means to be American. Unfortunately, ballet's contributions to national identity have historically been pretty narrow, reflecting youth and energy, and not much else.

Who would have thought that the English National Ballet would be popular with an early-morning music festival crowd? In past years Glastonbury—a major music festival in England—has experiemented with several different kinds of performances for its Sunday morning slot. This year, the English National Ballet took the stage to perform Akram Khan's Dust, a ballet about women during World War I.

Perhaps you remember Pennsylvania Ballet's Alexander Peters from his Pointe magazine profile in our April/May 2013 issue. Or maybe you know him as one of your favorite corps de ballet dancers—and one of our readers' choice nominees for corps members who deserve to be promoted right away.