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Exclusive: Don't Miss Boston Ballet's Lia Cirio and Paul Craig in This New Music Video

We love it when our favorite dancers are tapped to star in other artists' projects. When Boston-based violinist and songwriter Josh Knowles started mulling over video ideas for his new single "Same," the first released song of his upcoming album this fall, he thought that two dancers silhouetted against a backlight could get the song's vulnerability across. And so he asked two of his favorites, Boston Ballet principals Lia Cirio and Paul Craig, to star in the video and commissioned former company principal Yury Yanowsky to choreograph it.


"Lia, Paul and I are really close, and Yury is a good friend, too," says Knowles. He first got to know them several years ago, when he performed as part of the onstage string quartet in Boston Ballet's production of Alexander Ekman's Cacti. Since then he's been a regular musician with Cirio Collective, the company Cirio founded with her brother Jeffrey. Knowles has also worked with Yanowsky on several original creations, including co-composing the music for AON <All or Nothing>, his recent world premiere at Atlanta Ballet.

And the dance connections don't end there: The video was filmed over four hours at Koltun Ballet Boston's studios, and Knowles hired Boston Ballet's video producer Ernesto Galan to shoot it.

After consulting with Yanowsky about the overarching emotional themes he wanted in the video, Knowles left the "meat" of the project for Yanowsky to interpret. (The song is available for streaming on Spotify and iTunes.) "The beauty of a collaboration like this is being surprised and inspired by somebody else's take on your work," he says. The result is a gorgeously haunting pas de deux—but don't take our word for it. The video premieres today, right here on our site, so be among the first to watch for yourself!



Francisco Estevez, Courtesy Colorado Ballet Academy

When you're looking for a ballet program to take you to the next level, there are a lot of factors to consider. While it's tempting to look for the biggest name that will accept you, the savvy dancer knows that successful training has more to do with the attention and opportunities you'll get.

We put together a few of the most important things for dancers to look for in a summer or year-round training program, with the help of the experts at Colorado Ballet Academy:

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Everything Nutcracker
Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz as the Sugar Plum Fairy during a stage rehearsal for George Balanchine's Nutcracker. All photography by Arian Molina Soca.

For many professional ballet dancers, Nutcracker means weeks of performances. That usually translates to multiple casts—and important breakout opportunities for those in the junior ranks. On the afternoon of December 13, Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz made her debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy along with her Cavalier, corps member Austin Eylar. For the Brazilian-born dancer, who joined PAB in 2018 after two seasons at Houston Ballet, Sugar Plum marks one of her first principal roles.

"I'm really excited," says Golz. PAB artistic director Angel Corella appointed 12 casts of Sugar Plum Fairies over the run's 29 performances. "When I first found out, I was like, 'Pinch me!' I still can't believe it."

We caught up with Golz just before her debut to see how she prepared for her big break.

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Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy US Prix de Ballet

The US Prix de Ballet is taking an unconventional approach to the ballet competition—by putting the competitors' health first. After a successful first year in 2018, the Prix is returning to San Diego, CA this February with an even more comprehensive lineup of wellness workshops and master classes, in addition, of course, to the high-level competition.

Though the talent is top-notch, the environment is friendly, says HARID Conservatory faculty member Victoria Schneider, who serves on US Prix de Ballet's elite panel of judges. "The wellbeing of the dancer is the main focus," says Schneider, who awarded three scholarships to HARID at last year's competition.

US Prix de Ballet was born after its founders traveled to the Japan Grand Prix International Ballet Competition in 2016. "The company ran every aspect of the competition with professionalism, dignity, honor and precision," says founder Neisha Hernandez. "We knew we wanted this level of experience for America."

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