Ah, Aurora—the dream role of budding ballerinas and the milestone of professionals. (It’s on the horizon for our June/July cover girl Cassandra Trenary, who makes her New York Aurora debut on June 29). Nearly every prima has performed the role, and Italian dancer Viviana Durante, former principal with The Royal Ballet, is no exception.
With impeccable musicality, Durante seems to pluck the violin’s strings with her toes. Atop this precise staccato footwork undulate soft, swirling arms and an expression that asserts true joy. Sure, Durante may be acting Aurora’s wedding day bliss, but to me that smile seems triumphant: the look of her self-assurance dancing one of ballet’s most challenging yet rewarding roles.
Durante established her international reputation with a worldwide performing career. After leaving The Royal Ballet in 2001, she joined American Ballet Theatre and Tokyo’s K-Ballet and guested in Italy, Germany, and beyond. Recently, she’s served on the judging panels for English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer Competition and this year’s Prix de Lausanne. Happy #TBT!
Fall is almost here. What will you do this year to take your training to the next level? Smart dancers know they need to stay on the lookout for opportunities that will improve their artistry, whether it's a new competition, a mock-audition course or a master class in a technique they've never tried before.
Bay area–based dancers might want to check out the new Classical Variations Workshop at Alonzo King LINES Dance Center. Although “classical” isn't the first word that comes to mind when thinking about LINES, choreographer Breton Tyner-Bryan will nonetheless be teaching this weekly Saturday variations class from September 15-November 3. She'll challenge dancers technically and theatrically as they learn soloist and ensemble roles from La Bayadère and Swan Lake over the course of eight weeks. Students won’t just expand their personal repertoire, they'll be individually coached, have their progress videotaped and will perform in a final showcase. If you register now, you can get an early bird special of $135. See dancecenter.linesballet.org/workshops.