Every Dancer's Dream: Getting Discovered

It's spring showcase season, and every student has the same fantasy: Being seen by a director, and promptly offered a contract. For Hannah Keene, that fantasy came true after she performed as a Boston Ballet trainee in the school's Next Generation concert last year. She shared her story with Pointe:

 

That night, I performed in my trainee "class piece," and in Balanchine's Raymonda Variations, doing the first variation. I was dancing just as I would in any other performance—I had been planning on a second year in Boston Ballet's trainee program.

 

But after the show, while still in costume and heading downstairs to change, I remember Boston Ballet's artistic dtirector, Mikko Nissinen, calling out casually, "Hannah, could I talk to you for a second?" When I went over, he said to me, "How would you feel about joining BBII next year?" I was shocked. I thought at first that he might be joking! I thought, "This can't be real!" I think I even asked him, "Are you serious?" It was such a dream come true, so all I could think was that I was, in fact, dreaming.

 

Now my first season with BBII is almost over, and I've learned so much from taking class and rehearsing with such incredible dancers. I've figured out that I need to take responsibility for my own dancing and be diligent about my work; there's not always a teacher to help me when I'm struggling. I've also learned how important it is to let loose, to be confident that I have the technique and then find ways to make the movements my own. I love Boston Ballet and have spent years looking up to the dancers here. I'd love to grow with the company and become a stronger, more versatile dancer, to take risks with new pieces, and in the process, learn more about myself as an artist.

 

Catch Keene dancing the role of the Piccolo in Jerome Robbins' Fanfare in this year's Next Generation performance on Wednesday, May 8 at the Boston Opera House.

 

Latest Posts


Left to right: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Daphne Lee, Amanda Smith, Lindsey Donnell and Alexandra Hutchinson in a scene from Dancing Through Harlem. Derek Brockington, Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem

Dancers Share Their Key Takeaways After a Year of Dancing on Film

Creating dances specifically for film has become one of the most effective ways that ballet companies have connected with audiences and kept dancers employed during the pandemic. Around the world, dance organizations are finding opportunities through digital seasons, whether conceiving cinematic, site-specific pieces or filming works within a traditional theater. And while there is a consistent sentiment that nothing will ever substitute the thrill of a live show, dancers are embracing this new way of performing.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Alexandra McMaster

Start Your Dance Day With This Delicious Berry Breakfast Crisp Recipe

When it comes to breakfast, I want it to be easy and convenient but still taste delicious. My Berry Breakfast Crisp is just that. You can bake the crisp on the weekend as meal prep, then enjoy it throughout the week cold or warmed in the microwave. It freezes well, too!

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Liam Scarlett with Marianela Nuñez and Ryoichi Hirano during a rehearsal of his Swan Lake at The Royal Ballet. Andrej Uspenski, Courtesy ROH

Choreographer Liam Scarlett Has Died

Over the weekend, news broke that 35-year-old choreographer Liam Scarlett, a former artist in residence at The Royal Ballet, died suddenly at his home in England. "It is with great sadness that we announce the tragic, untimely death of our beloved Liam," Scarlett's family said in a brief statement. "At this difficult time for all of our family, we would ask that you respect our privacy to enable us to grieve our loss."

The cause of death was not disclosed.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks