A Prince Says Farewell

 Few dancers have been as popular with audiences as Angel Corella. When he gave his farewell performance with American Ballet Theatre last night, the vast Metropolitan Opera House, rarely full to the rafters, was sold out. Ballet lovers had come from all over to say goodbye.

 

Corella first dazzled on the Met stage as an ebullient teenager. His trademark grin made him a natural charmer, and audiences responded deeply to his love of performing. He was a prodigy—their prodigy. As the years went on, his technique deepened, he added dimension to his roles and his partnering gained sensitivity. He was always a star; he became a prince.

 

Corella chose Kevin McKenzie’s Swan Lake for his last bow to the ABT audience. McKenzie made his Siegfried on Corella, adding a solo and several passages that tapped a subtle melancholy within the dancer. Few of the guest artists whom ABT brings in today capture this Siegfried’s introspective quality, or recognize that he, and the Swan Queen he loves, are forever a breed apart.

 

Last night’s Odette, Paloma Herrera, had been one of Corella’s first partners at ABT. Audiences went wild for their youth and exuberance in ballets like Don Quixote. They were overnight sensations; few could have predicted that their paths would lead them far from the pyrotechnics that made them famous.

 

Lyrical and gentle, Herrera’s Odette today has classical purity and true radiance. Her dignified Swan Queen represents years of discipline and heart she has given to refining her technique and understanding. And Corella’s Siegfried met her with ardent tenderness, expressive yet solicitous in his partnering. He was a man who sought more than mere beauty and found his dream unexpectedly fulfilled.

 

Corella’s appearances at ABT have been rare in recent years. He cut back performing four years ago to launch his own company in Spain, now called Barcelona Ballet, the country’s only major classical company. While it has been challenging to steer his troupe through the vicissitudes of Europe’s financial crisis, he has committed himself to a fulltime role as director.

 

Corella’s curtain calls were tumultuous. The audience refused to let him go, hurling flowers and stamping their feet, bringing him back again and again in front of the curtain. After the first bows, Herrera hugged him, and left him alone. Getting older is hard; growing up is harder. Corella will be always missed, always loved.

 

Latest Posts


Maria Kochetkova. Darian Volkova, Courtesy Kochetkova

Maria Kochetkova on How COVID-19 Affected Her Freelance Career, and Her New Home at Finnish National Ballet

When international star Maria Kochetkova embarked on a freelance career three years ago, she never envisioned how a global pandemic would affect it. In 2018, the Russian-born ballerina left the security of San Francisco Ballet, a company she called home for more than a decade, for the globe-trotting life of a guest star. Before the pandemic, Kochetkova managed her own performing schedule and was busier than ever, enjoying artistic freedom and expanding her creative horizons. This all changed in March 2020, when she saw her booming career—and her jet-setting lifestyle—change almost overnight.

After months of uncertainty, Kochetkova landed at Finnish National Ballet, where she is a principal dancer for the 2020–21 season. Pointe spoke with her about her time during the quarantine and what helped her to get through it, her new life in Helsinki, and what keeps her busy and motivated these days.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
DTH's Alexandra Hutchinson and Derek Brockington work out with trainer Lily Overmyer at Studio IX. Photo by Joel Prouty, Courtesy Hutchinson.

Working Out With DTH’s Alexandra Hutchinson

Despite major pandemic shutdowns in New York City, Alexandra Hutchinson has been HIIT-ing her stride. Between company class with Dance Theater of Harlem and projects like the viral video "Dancing Through Harlem"—which she co-directed with roommate and fellow DTH dancer Derek Brockington—Hutchinson has still found time to cross-train. She shares her motivation behind her killer high-intensity interval training at Studio IX on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

As Ballet Looks Toward Its Future, Let's Talk About Its Troubling Emotional Demands

As a ballet student, I distinctively remember being told that to survive ballet as a profession, one must be exceptionally thick-skinned and resilient. I always assumed it was because of the physically demanding nature of ballet: long rehearsal hours, challenging and stressful performances, and physical pain.

It wasn't until I joined a ballet company that I learned the true meaning behind those words: that the reason one needs thick skin is not because of the physical demands, but because of the unfair and unnecessary emotional demands.

Undoubtedly, emotional and physical strength go hand in hand to some extent. But the kind of emotional demand I am talking about here is different; it is not the strength one finds in oneself in moments of fatigue or unwillingness. It is the strength one must have when being bullied, humiliated, screamed at, manipulated or harassed.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks