News

Who would have guessed a member of The Beatles would be nominated for the Benois de la Danse? Sure enough, Sir Paul McCartney is one of two composers in the running for the prestigious award, which is celebrating it's twentieth anniversary this year. An international jury led by Yuri Grigorovich and John Neumeier will make the final selections, to be revealed at the Bolshoi Theater on May 22. Here are the rest of the nominations:

 

CHOREOGRAPHERS

The color orange has a special meaning for Keith Lin, designer of KeithLink leotards. To him it signifies sunshine and the happiness of dancing. For six years, Lin’s colleagues in the dance world urged him to start his own line of leotards, and on April 4, the brand launched its first Spring/Summer collection, Awakening.

Another reason to be jealous of Torontonians: The National Ballet of Canada offers a very cool series called Ballet Class with the Stars. Every month or so, the company’s principal dancers take a break from rehearsals to teach an open master class to local dance students. Participation is open to any aspiring preprofessional aged 14 or older who's reached at least an intermediate level of technique.

English National Ballet has just named Tamara Rojo as it’s new artistic director. The 37-year-old Royal Ballet principal will take the reins from Wayne Eagling, who resigned a few weeks ago. Rojo has had her sights set on becoming an artistic director for quite some time—she has a master’s degree in scenic arts and has previously shadowed National Ballet of Canada’s Karen Kain to gain insight into the position.

Sometimes, a plain old downward dog isn't enough. For dancers who like to defy the laws of physics, anti-gravity yoga quite literally takes cross-training to a whole new level. This hybrid technique of yoga and aerial arts helps stretch and strengthen the body without straining your joints by using a silk hammock as a prop for your positions. The hammock was originally developed by Christopher Harrsion as an apparatus for his acrobatic performance company AntiGravity.

"Both professions require one to know their bodies really well, and to have discipline, like understanding how to move and make shapes. If you know your body, it’s not as awkward when you’re modeling because you’re already super conscious," says Laura Love about the connection between modeling and dance to James Lin of nymag.com's "The Cut" blog. Love performed with Los Angeles Ballet before quitting the stage a couple of years ago to become a model.

My first summer in New York I was 17, training at The Joffrey's summer intensive and spending my spare time taking extra classes at Steps, with jazz master Luigi, and at ABT (which, in it's pre-JKO days, offered an amazing daily open class). I was also seeing as much ballet as I could squeeze out of my limited allowance.

 

Sneakers aren’t the primary footwear you associate with New York City Ballet. But next Friday, NYCB dancers will slip out of their pointe shoes and into more casual kicks for the free Fridays at Noon series at the 92nd Street Y. Ellen Bar, a former dancer who now works as the company’s director of media projects, hosts the quirky program featuring past and present sneaker ballets.

In our new issue, Pennsylvania Ballet artistic director Roy Kaiser reveals the company's plans to re-establish an affiliated school this fall. After several years without an official training institution, the launch accompanies the upcoming opening of PAB's new purpose-built Louise Reed Center For Dance. PAB II director William DeGregory will lead the academy with celebrated dancer Aranxta Ochoa as a principal instructor.

 

Nigel Lythgoe, the producer of So You Think You Can Dance, is launching another reality dance show. A Chance to Dance will follow Michael Nunn and William Trevitt of UK's BalletBoyz as they search the US for talented dancers to form a new company. The show will premiere August 17 on Ovation TV. Any dancer over the age of 18 is invited to audition.