Since joining American Ballet Theatre as a soloist in 2008, Russian-born Daniil Simkin has become a fixture in the New York City dance scene. In addition to performing leading roles with ABT in everything from Giselle to Whipped Cream, Simkin has also spearheaded his own side projects like 2015's INTENSIO and, most recently, his Falls the Shadow at the Guggenheim Museum's rotunda.


But Simkin has just announced that he'll be calling Germany home in fall of 2018, when he will officially join Staatsballett Berlin for the company's 2018–19 season. Simkin's new role coincides with the start of the company's new directors, Sasha Waltz and Johannes Öhman, an announcement which caused a ton of backlash when it was decided upon last fall.

With Simkin's international fame, we're not totally surprised by the move, but we are pleased to see that he won't entirely be leaving NYC. In a press release from ABT, both Simkin and ABT's artistic director Kevin McKenzie stated that Simkin will continue to perform with ABT (schedule permitting).

On his future with Staatsballett, Simkin said, "Having grown up in Germany, I am looking forward to returning with everything that ABT has taught me and to joining Staatsballett Berlin under the directorship of Sasha Waltz and Johannes Öhman...But as of now, I am just very excited for the Fall season to begin and cannot wait for another great year at ABT!"

Given Simkin's use of technology in his dance works, he's bound to keep us updated on his next adventure via social media. But in the meantime, we'll use this as an excuse to catch as many shows as possible in the upcoming season with ABT.

News
Erin Baiano, Courtesy Vail Dance Festival

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

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Ballet Training
From left: Duncan McIlwaine and Joseph Markey rehearse a new work by Gemma Bond. Rachel Papo.

The members of ABT Studio Company straddle two worlds: student and professional. On a March afternoon, as the dancers rehearse for a work choreographed by ABT dancer Gemma Bond, they appear more the former: Clean academic leotards and tights reveal coltish legs. But as soon as they launch into the piece (which later had its New York City debut at The Joyce Theater), it's evident how close these dancers are to a professional rank. Their movements and expressiveness grow bolder with each entrance. Soon they're sliding to the ground in floorwork and swirling confidently in daring lifts. "This group is particularly brilliant to work with," says Bond. "Each dancer seems to have something interesting in the way that they move, which made the creation process a little more of a collaboration than some of my other works."

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Ballet Training
Karin Ellis-Wentz and Joffrey Ballet Academy of Dance student Elliana Teuscher. Courtesy The Joffrey Ballet.

"Hopping on pointe is a bit of a weird feeling," says Karin Ellis-Wentz, head of pre-professional programs at the Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago. But, she adds, it's a skill advanced dancers need "because it's in so many variations." Here, she takes us through the techniques and exercises that help her students master this necessary trick.

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The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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