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Courtesy Orlando Ballet School

Opportunity and Community Take Center Stage at Orlando Ballet's Summer Intensive

Participating in summer intensive programs has long been critical to dancers' advancement—whether still refining their technique or gearing up to make the leap to pre-professional. But amid the coronavirus pandemic and the disruption it has had on dancers' training around the world (which for many has meant months long Zoom classes from home), there's a new level of importance placed on the specialized approach of a summer intensive. Yes, dancers are eager to get back to in-person training, but doing so in a safe environment is of the utmost importance.

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#TBT: Antoinette Sibley in "Cinderella" (1969)

With its fairytale magic and ludicrous stepsisters, Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella is full of whimsy and charm. The choreography is also playfully challenging with quirky, intricate phrasing that illuminates Prokofiev's score. Antoinette Sibley, a former principal of The Royal Ballet, revels in the challenges as the titular Cinderella. A master of speed and staccato, Sibley is a frothy delight in her Act II variation in this clip from 1969.

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Final Bow for Yellowface co-founders Phil Chan and Georgina Pazcoguin. Erin Baiano, Courtesy Final Bow for Yellowface

10,000 Dreams Virtual Choreography Festival Spotlights Asian Choreographers Throughout May

In the wake of rising hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community over the last year, many ballet companies have been posting messages of solidarity on social media and voicing their commitment against racial injustice. However, there is still work to be done in reflecting that commitment on stages. Phil Chan, co-founder of Final Bow for Yellowface, an organization dedicated to eliminating offensive Asian stereotypes in dance, says he would give ballet companies a letter grade of C-minus for their current diversity and inclusion work.

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Jacques d'Amboise in Apollo. Photo courtesy New York City Ballet archives.

Jacques d’Amboise, New York City Ballet Star and Founder of National Dance Institute, Dies at 86

To watch Jacques d'Amboise, the legendary New York City Ballet dancer who died this week at the age of 86 due to complications from a stroke, coach dancers in the roles he had performed over the course of his long career was to see an artist who not only possessed formidable insight, but also exuded an infectious love of dance, and of life. To watch him interact with the young dancers of the National Dance Institute, the arts education nonprofit he created in 1976, was to see someone who passionately believed in human potential, and who thrived at seeing it realized.

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