Backstage at Ballet Across America

Behind the scenes at a national gathering of talent
Published in the October/November 2010 issue.

The Kennedy Center’s regional ballet festival in June drew Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Ballet Arizona, Ballet Memphis, Houston Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Suzanne Farrell Ballet and Tulsa Ballet. The dancers compared notes in company class, taught each morning by artistic directors like Stanton Welch and Ashley Wheater, and applauded colleagues’ performances from the wings. There was a party on the festival’s second night, and an informal gathering or two at local bars, where dancers shared war stories after performing. “It was fantastic to get to socialize and work with the other dancers,” says Houston principal Connor Walsh. “Sometimes you forget to appreciate how fortunate you are to do what you do.”

Choreographer Edwaard Liang with Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director Ashley Wheater, April Daly and Miguel Angel Blanco

Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

Tulsa Ballet's Rupert Edwards (now with Houston Ballet) and Alexandra Bergman in Nacho Duato's "Por Vos Muero"

Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

Ballet Arizona's Beau Campbell

Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

Ballet Memphis ballet mistress Tamara Hoffman's morning class for the company and PNB dancers.

Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

Suzanne Farrell coaches Natalia Magnicaballi and Michael Cook in Balanchine's "Monumentum Pro Gesualdo"

Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

Houston Ballet artistic director Stanton Welch teaches class to several companies

Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

The Joffrey's John Mark Gagosian

Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

Ballet Arizona's Russell Clarke and Tzu-Chia Huang

Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet artistic director Tom Mossbrucker watches rehearsal

Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

Houston Ballet's Karina Gonzales

Photo by Rosalie O'Connor