Studio to Street: Maria Kochetkova

You’ll never catch this San Francisco Ballet star looking ordinary. Kochetkova fills her wardrobe with bold one-of-a-kind finds and pieces that make her laugh. But what’s most impressive is how she puts everything together into fantastical outfits that are truly her own. “I’m always mixing different prints that most people would say are unmixable,” she says.  “I don’t think about it—it just happens. My style is just a part of whoever I happen to be on a certain day.”


The Details—Studio
American Apparel top: “American Apparel clothes are loose and light, and don’t make me look like a Barbie ballerina.”
Phobos Bodywear skirt: “I bought this when I was in Amsterdam learning Cinderella. I like how it’s cut high in the front so you can see your legs, and the flow of the material makes it nice to move in.”
Feathers Dancewear legwarmers: “These are made by a dancer I used to work with at English National Ballet. Clothes made by dancers are more grown up, and quite different from what you usually see in ballet shops.”


The Details—Street

Julien David button-down: “This print has ducks and dinosaurs, though I like to pretend they’re dragons. I like dragons.”
Tatiana Parfionova coat: “This designer uses a lot of Russian folklore, and when she put out a collection with swans, I had to have something!”
Pants by contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama: “Whenever I see artists collaborating with fashion brands, I try to get a piece. What they create is often quite unusual.” 

News
Alice Pennefather, Courtesy ROH

You ever just wish that Kenneth MacMillan's iconic production of Romeo and Juliet could have a beautiful love child with the 1968 film starring Olivia Hussey? (No, not Baz Luhrmann's version. We are purists here.)

Wish granted: Today, the trailer for a new film called Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words was released, featuring MacMillan's choreography and with what looks like all the cinematic glamour we could ever dream of:

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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Viral Videos

What do Diana Vishneva, Olga Smirnova, Kristina Shapran and Maria Khoreva all have in common? These women, among the most impressive talents to graduate from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in recent years, all studied under legendary professor Lyudmila Kovaleva. Kovaleva, a former dancer with the Kirov Ballet (now the Mariinsky), is beloved by her students and admired throughout the ballet world for her ability to pull individuality and artistry out of the dancers she trains. Like any great teacher, Kovaleva is remarkably generous with her wealth of knowledge; it seems perfect, then, that she appears as the Fairy of Generosity in this clip from a 1964 film of the Kirov's The Sleeping Beauty.

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Ballet Careers
Ali Cameron, Courtesy Queensland Ballet

An artistic director's position was far from Li Cunxin's mind when the Brisbane-based Queensland Ballet came calling in 2012. Since his retirement from the stage in 1999, the Chinese-Australian dancer had embarked on a highly successful career at the helm of a stockbroking firm. His wife, former dancer and current Queensland ballet mistress Mary McKendry Li, changed his mind, Li remembers. "She said, 'Wouldn't it be nice to give something back to the art form that we both have benefited so much from?' "

Seven years later, Li's contribution has been dramatic. Queensland Ballet, once a struggling choreographer-led company, has become one of Australia's most exciting repertoire ensembles, with Liam Scarlett on board as artistic associate. The budget has more than quadrupled, to over $20 million USD, and Li has launched not one but three major construction projects, with world-class headquarters, a theater and a new academy all in progress.

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