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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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Viral Videos

Yesterday, the first of Nike's new Common Thread video series dropped, and we were thrilled to see that it featured dancers; namely, Dance Theatre of Harlem member (and June/July 2017 Pointe cover star) Ingrid Silva, and Florida-based ballet student Alex Thomas. Even better, it's narrated by tennis phenom Serena Williams. This series of short videos celebrates Black History Month by focusing on representation in sport. (We're not crazy about ballet being called a sport, but we'll let it slide.) In each installment, athletes united by a common thread discuss their passion, and the lack of role models they saw in their fields while growing up.

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The Washington Ballet's Sona Kharatian and Dan Roberge in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. Procopio Photography, Courtesy TWB.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

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Frances Chung as the title role in Christopher Wheeldon's Cinderella. Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB.

Six-time Tony Award-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz has lit such Broadway musical hits as Frozen, Hello Dolly! and A Chorus Line. She is also one of choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's biggest collaborators, designing the lighting for works such as Broadway's An American in Paris, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Cinderella, a 2012 co-production of San Francisco Ballet and Dutch National Ballet. Shortly after SFB opened their 2020 season with Cinderella last month, Pointe caught up with Katz to talk about her career, her collaborative relationship with Wheeldon, and the lighting profiles of co-productions.

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