The Royal Danish Ballet's Ida Praetorius may only be 19, but she's quickly making her mark on the ballet world.

Last year, Pointe highlighted her as one of the standouts of 2011—when she was only an apprentice! Artistic director Nikolai Hubbe had cast her in the lead of Fleming Flindt's The Lesson for the company's U.S. tour, and she astounded us with her expressive movement and innate dramatic flair.


Now a member of the corps, Praetorius took home the prestigious Erik Bruhn Prize last night, along with her RDB partner Andreas Kaas. Rounding out the awards was RDB's Alessandro Sousa Pereira, who won the choreographic prize. Emma Hawes of the National Ballet of Canada and James Hay of The Royal Ballet both won audience choice awards, as did NBC's Guillame Coté for his choreography.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for what Praetorius does next. And be sure to check out Pointe's list of standout performances from 2012 in our December/January issue!

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Master pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee of the California-based ThePointeShop chats with Ballet West soloist Chelsea Keefer to hear about how she prepares her pointe shoes. Keefer offers lots of darning tips, and shares all of the unusual ways that she uses rosin.

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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Dane Shitagi, Courtesy Chronicle Books

Earlier this year, we shared that photographer Dane Shitagi's Ballerina Project—his gorgeous, ongoing collection of dance photos that have dominated our Instagram feeds for years—would be coming to an end. But all is not lost—starting September 17, you can enjoy over 170 of these photographs in Ballerina Project, a stunning new book showcasing Shitagi's work.

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From left: Kathryn Posin Dance Company members Daniel White, Claire Mazza and Momchil Mladenov in Evolution: The Letters of Charles Darwin. Nan Melville, Courtesy Posin.

Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution might not seem like a natural fit for the ballet stage. But that's exactly the topic of one of choreographer Kathryn Posin's three new ballets, scheduled to premiere at New York City's 92nd Street Y September 13-14.

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