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Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel Welcome First Son

Balletomanes, bunheads, and Center Stage fangirls alike, listen up, because there's a big announcement here for the dance community: on Saturday, June 8, legendary ballet power couple Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel welcomed their son, Ax Nathaniel Stiefel, into the world!


Murphy announced the good news on Instagram by sharing a heartwarming video of fellow American Ballet Theatre principal (and perhaps soon-to-be-fairy-godmother) Stella Abrera announcing Ax's birth to the company.

In the video, Abrera tells the rest of the company that, "there is a new baby in [their] family," sharing that Ax was born happy and healthy at 7 pounds, 8 ounces. Abrera also confirms that, amazingly enough, she and baby Ax share the same birthday. Talk about entering on your cue!

Well-wishers from all corners of the world came out to congratulate Murphy and Stiefel on Instagram, from Diana Vishneva, to Megan Fairchild, to famous ballet-lover Jennifer Garner. There's no doubt that Ax will be welcomed into the dance world with open arms – and maybe even with a few fans already.

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Are you a total bunhead who loves to write? You might be the perfect fit for Pointe. We're seeking an editorial intern who's equally passionate about ballet and journalism.

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Manuel Legris at the Vienna State Opera. Michael Phon, Courtesy La Scala Ballet.

Former Paris Opéra Ballet etoile Manuel Legris has just been appointed artistic director of La Scala Ballet in Milan. Legris, who has directed the Vienna State Opera Ballet since 2010, posted on his Instagram page that he will assume his new position in December 2020. He replaces outgoing director Frédéric Olivieri. According to French news sites, Olivieri, who has led La Scala Ballet School since 2006, will continue to serve as the academy's director.

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Aran Bell and Catherine Hurlin in Of Love and Rage. Erin Baiano, Courtesy American Ballet Theatre.

This spring, American Ballet Theatre unveils Of Love and Rage, a new evening-length work based on an unlikely source: a tale of love and adventure written in the first century AD. We're all aware of Greek mythology, of the tragedies and of the Greek philosophers. But it is much less widely known that a writer by the name of Chariton penned what is likely the first romantic novel in Western literature, or at least the oldest that has survived: Callirhoe.

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Viral Videos

Earlier this month, 15-year-old American dancer Ava Arbuckle was one of eight scholarship winners at the Prix de Lausanne. For her classical selection, Arbukle, clad in an ultra-feminine, rosette-covered tutu, performed Flora's variation from The Awakening of Flora, Marius Petipa's 1894 one-act ballet about the Greek goddess of Spring. Back in 2007, historian and choreographer Sergei Vikharev reconstructed the work for the Mariinsky Ballet, with Evgenia Obraztsova, then a soloist at the Mariinsky and now principal at the Bolshoi Ballet, originating the titular Flora.

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