Five Retirements and a Sea Change

Carla Körbes in "Diamonds" from George Balanchine's Jewels (photo by Angela Sterling)

 

For ballet fans around the world, there is a lot to be sad about in the 2014/2015 season. Wendy Whelan ended her career at New York City Ballet, while Carla Körbes will retire in June. At the end of the American Ballet Theatre season, Julie Kent, Paloma Herrera and Xiomara Reyes will all take their final bows with the company. It's enough to make any balletomane cry.

Recently, The Huffington Post and Ballet to the People featured each of the five ballerinas in a long article describing the changes they’ve witnessed throughout their careers, and what they each have planned for their next steps.

Each dancer made pointed comments about the future of artistry in the ballet world, noting that while dance is more accessible than it has ever been, the open floodgates of information can be overwhelming. Interestingly, many of them noted that social media has had the impact of encouraging people to be something rather than do something. They claim that it has influenced young people to seek celebrity or stardom over the less immediately rewarding aspects of a dance career—namely the loyalty of sticking with one company, and the daily grind and reinvention that comes from training regularly. “That,” Herrera notes, “is where the humility is.”

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