Nicole Loeffler-Gladstone's blog

Cedar Lake rocked the dance community on Friday, announcing that the company would close in June at the end of its 2015 season. Were you planning to attend the Cedar Lake 180 summer intensive? It's canceled. Hopefully you bought travel insurance for your plane tickets because the upcoming March 27 and 28 company auditions are canceled too.

Atlanta Ballet resident choreographer Helen Pickett will premiere her first full length ballet on Friday. The work, titled after and based on Tennessee Williams' play Camino Real, will be the choreographer's fourth work for the company. Pickett spoke to Pointe about Camino Real for the February/March issue, and explained how she had found new inspiration in written text and the creation of a narrative ballet.

Ballet dancers often make good business people. They have the training and discipline to bring their ideas to life and the artistic streak to dream up a new, creative product. In fact, Pointe's "Dancer Spotlight" column often features dancers who have a non-dance business on the side. 

Richmond Ballet dancer Valerie Tellmann will appear on an upcoming episode of "Say Yes to the Dress." Tellman, who's known for having a big, bright personality both onstage and off, will appear on the show with a few friends—including fellow Richmond Ballet dancers—and family members and will choose her wedding dress at the top bridal boutique Kleinfeld Bridal.

Each year the Vail International Dance Festival, helmed by former New York City Ballet principal Damian Woetzel, presents a festival of dance stars in Vail, CO, from July 27 through August 10.

Contemporary choreographer and native Belgian Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui has been appointed the artistic director of the Royal Ballet of Flanders. The company has functioned without an artistic director since August, 2014, when former director Assis Carreiro was fired.

Don Quixote’s flirtatious and spunky Kitri is an exciting character for ballerinas to portray—any role is fun if it includes a prop fan! But it’s also an important stepping-stone in a dancer’s professional career, alongside Juliet, Odette/Odile and Aurora. In this 1998 recording, Paloma Herrera masters the role, raising the standard for future Kitris in only her third year as principal dancer for American Ballet Theatre. As she dances this variation, Herrera consumes the stage, abandoning all fear.

Israeli-born choreographer Hofesh Shechter is best known for his grounded, highly physical contemporary work. In March, he will take over the Royal Opera House stage in London, with a world premiere for The Royal Ballet.

It seems the Balanchine–Bournonville connection is alive and strong in the U.S. Not only did the Royal Danish Ballet recently complete a successful tour to NYC, and not only will New York City Ballet—helmed by Dane Peter Martins—present Martins' La Sylphide during its Spring Season, but on February 12 Ballet Arizona will be the first U.S. company to dance Bournonville's Napoli in its entirety.

Benjamin Millepied announced his first full season of Paris Opéra Ballet programming on Wednesday with a monumental coup: William Forsythe will join the company as associate choreographer. Lately, Forsythe has been largely absent from the classical world—he has directed the Forsythe Company since its foundation in 2005, and has dedicated his choreography to more experiemental contemporary dance. He stepped down from the company's directorship in 2013, and in May 2014, University of Southern California announced that he would join the faculty at the new Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.