News

Dayton Ballet in Ohio is launching a new choreography contest. The project will coincide with a music composition contest. Three choreographers will be chosen to create a new work on Dayton Ballet dancers, to a recording of new music by the three chosen composers. Choreographers will have 45 hours with Dayton Ballet dancers of their choice to rehearse, and winners will receive a cash prize. Cincinnati Ballet's Victoria Morgan, Ballet Austin's Stephen Mills and BalletMet's Gerard Charles will judge.

 

To apply, submit a DVD of your work by September 15 to:

 

The Washington Ballet just announced that they will launch a trainee program this fall. Choreographer Carlos Valcarcel will serve as ballet master for the one- to two- year program for pre-preprofessional students ages 17 and older. It's aimed at students who want to fine-tune their technique and gain valuable performance experience before auditioning for companies.

 

ABT soloist Simone Messmer is more than your typical bunhead. The girl has pizzazz—an effortless vivacity that's simply magnetic both onstage and off. So I'm super excited to share that she has been chosen to receive the 2010 Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship.

 

The first time I saw William Forsythe’s choreography I hated it. Passionately.

I’d just started at NYU and our choreography class was required to see Ballett Frankfurt out in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, my parents happened to be in town that weekend. But I brought them along, assuming anything called “ballet” would be safe.

Ever dream of what it would be like to dance with the Paris Opera Ballet? Frederick Wiseman's newest film La Danse goes behind the scenes to document every aspect of the company: sweaty, intense rehearsals with etoiles; administrative meetings about fundraisers and retirement benefits; painters adding another coat to the hallways; and even a beekeeper making honey on the roof of the Palais Garnier!

Congratulations to Vaganova Ballet Academy, Pointe Viewers' Choice winners for October. Their video, “Behind the scenes with Eric Conrad, Part I: Partnering Class” features three couples partnering in a classroom setting. Each couple demonstrates excellent technique through the adagio exercise of pirouettes, arabesque, penchee, and developpe. Each woman has her own strength, whether it be high extension, beautiful feet, or captivating port de bras.

Congratulations to Luminario Ballet, Pointe's Editors' Choice Video of the Month winners for October. Their piece “Bouquet” was choreographed by Michael Smuin, former artistic director of San Francisco ballet, and set by San Francisco Ballet prima Evelyn Cisneros. The gentle and ethereal pas de deux features a brilliantly glowing couple as the blue-tinted lighting radiates off of their bright white hair, skin, and austere costumes.

The National Ballet of Canada launched its 2009/10 hometown season on November 13 by reviving its long-serving production of The Sleeping Beauty, first staged for the company in 1972 by former Soviet defector and ballet superstar Rudolf Nureyev.

A capacity audience at Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre opera house gave opening night leads Heather Ogden and Guillaume Côté a justly deserved ovation. There was equal applause for those in supporting roles, notably Bluebird pas de deux couple Sonia Rodriguez and Keiichi Hirano and for Principal Fairy Bridgett Zehr.

When ABT went on a tour to Beijing last month, Pointe asked corps member Katherine Williams (our "Dancer Spotlight" subject from June/July 09) to keep a diary of her experiences. Here's what she wrote:

 

November 10: