Advice from Nilas Martins and Monique Meunier

Former New York City Ballet principal Nilas Martins and former NYCB principal and American Ballet Theatre soloist Monique Meunier recently began their tenure as co-directors of the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre (ANBT). Pointe asked the husband-and-wife team about their plans for the school, and their advice for pre-professional students.

What is your vision for ANBT?
We want to raise the technical level of the students to the best of our ability and to explore the possibility of expanding the current programs. We believe that exposure is one of the key elements needed; we would like for the students to be able to maximize their experiences and receive the opportunity to see and be part of great art. This can be achieved by working with established artists in addition to dancing challenging works during the annual Spring Concert.

Are there any particular changes you're planning to make?
We would like to eventually invite accomplished artists to ANBT to teach and create on the students within a workshop setting, and add additional styles of dance to the curriculum.

What drew you to this new position?
We feel it is a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in a community that has clearly shown an interest in expanding its arts programs, within the educational system as well as in the performing arts.
 
In your view, what are the most essential skills for ballet students to hone during their last years as pre-professionals?
Discipline, respect and etiquette are absolute essentials. Most important is cultivating an ability to set goals while striving to achieve them.

What advice would you offer students hoping to be professionals?
Continue to work hard, take care of your body, and be committed to your mission. Always look to improve and don’t compare yourself to others.

Latest Posts


Courtesy ABC

Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Alicia Mae Holloway Talks About Her Time on ABC's “The Bachelor”

Bunheads tuning in to the season premiere of ABC's "The Bachelor" on January 4 may have recognized a familiar face: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Alicia Mae Holloway, literally bourréeing out of a limousine to greet bachelor Matt James. While Holloway unfortunately didn't get a rose that night, she did thoroughly enjoy being the long-running reality franchise's first professional-ballerina contestant, as she told Pointe in a recent Zoom call.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Carla Fracci and Stephen Jefferies in "La Esmeralda" (1987)

Carla Fracci, a former principal dancer of La Scala Ballet in Milan, is among the rare class of ballerinas who continued to perform into her 50s and beyond. Romantic ballets were her calling card throughout her career. In 1987, when Fracci was 51, she was featured in a television special, dancing reconstructed 19th-century ballets in the style of historical ballerinas. In this clip of La Esmeralda from the program, Fracci and her partner Stephen Jefferies, a former principal at The Royal Ballet, deliver an extraordinary performance, capturing the verve and spirit of their characters.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Ask Amy: How Can I Make the Most of Performance Opportunities in a Pandemic?

My school is connected to a professional company that operates on a show-to-show basis. Students can audition for company performances when they're 15. My 15th birthday is in February, and I think that our directors are choosing people to participate in virtual performances based off of whether they have performed with the company before. This was supposed to be my big first year with the company, but COVID-19 has changed that. How do I make it known that I want to participate? Do you think I should wait until things are more normal? —Lila
Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks