ABT

 

Today, two of American Ballet Theatre’s longtime stars, Paloma Herrera and Xiomara Reyes, retire from the company in—what is sure to be emotionally charged—back-to-back performances of Giselle. Herrera, who has danced with ABT for 24 years, will say good-bye during this afternoon’s matinee, while Reyes will give her final performance tonight. The departure of both dancers marks an end of an era, and a sign of change for ABT’s future. In two seperate interviews, both dancers offered reflections on their careers, retirements and future plans.

 

American Ballet Theatre, in the midst of their 75th Anniversary celebration, opened their spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House this week. But fans unable to make it to New York City need not worry—on May 15, “American Ballet Theatre: A History,” a documentary nine years in the making by Emmy-award winning filmmaker Ric Burns, premieres on PBS stations nationwide.

 

American Ballet Theatre soloist Joseph Gorak will be awarded the 2015 Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship, along with several other young professional artists. The prestigious award includes recognition and a $50,000 a year stipend (for up to two years) to use toward professional development. For a dancer this might mean private coaching, college courses, physical trainers, studio space or investment in entrepreneurial or artistic interests outside of dance.

If you call yourself a “bunhead”, you’ve seen the movie Center Stage. It’s ballet's pop culture classic--and for some dancers outside of New York, it may be their first time seeing American Ballet Theatre principal Julie Kent. Since she appeared on the big screen as the famous Kathleen, Kent has become an icon of beauty, leaving us in a state of endless admiration.

 

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.

Last night, I saw American Ballet Theatre in Frederick Ashton's Cinderella, a ballet that entered the company's rep just this season. Of course, you're at the theater to see the magical story of Cinderella and her prince unfold. And what magic it was! Julie Kent played an endearing, doe-eyed Cinderella and Marcelo Gomes was princely, as always. But in Ashton's version, the evil stepsisters—men dressed to the nines in corsets and wigs—dare I say it, stole the show.

It's news that, as a New Yorker, I am selfishly sad to report: American Ballet Theatre has announced that its The Nutcracker, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, will move to the west coast in 2015. Its last New York performance will be this December at the Brooklyn Academy of Music before it calls the Segerstom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, "home." Ratmansky's production premiered in 2010 and received instant praise for its fine use of students and quick wit.

 

David Hallberg is everywhere right now—from the Bolshoi and ABT to fashion magazines to TV. Today, NOWNESS.com, a luxury lifestyle website, premiered a new short dance film called "Hallberg at Work" featuring the ballet star in the ABT studios, performing a solo created for him by Marcelo Gomes. It's an intense, up-close five-minute clip that kind of feels like what would happen if Darren Aronofsky made a dance film...oh, wait.