There’s a feeling of quiet intensity in the air at San Francisco Dance Center, where ballet master Arturo Fernandez is leading an open audition for Alonzo King LINES Ballet. After barre, director Alonzo King slips into the studio. With minimal fanfare, he takes up a position to one side, observing the dancers as they begin an adagio combination. Although LINES holds open calls a few times a year, it’s rare, he says frankly, to hire someone directly from an audition. King prefers to have dancers spend some time with the company in classes so he can really “see who they are” before they join the 11-member contemporary troupe. “I am drawn to people who aren’t playing Simon Says,” says King, “but who really have given a lot of thought to the science of movement.”

 

 

“Even if an audition doesn’t go my way, it’s an opportunity to learn,” says Little. “Did I not feel focused enough? Why was that? Can I fix it next time? I’ve done enough auditions to know that if I don’t get this, it’ll still be okay—something always comes along.”

 

 

Corina Kinnear, a senior in the LINES BFA program, waited until today to sew her pointe shoes so that she could keep herself busy—and her mind off her nerves. “I like to call my family before an audition,” she says. “It helps to remind me that I’m a person, not just a dancer.”

 

 

The dancers mark a combination before splitting up into groups. “I already took class in this studio beforehand,” says Jeffrey Ware. “I have to get comfortable in the space.”

 

 

Natalie Lambelet says, “I try to stay focused and be grounded. Find your center, don’t look left or right.”

 

 

“Remember that they are auditioning for you, too. So many times I’ve found myself in a situation where I think I might get the job, but in order to do that, I’d have to become someone I’m not.” —Natalie Lambelet

Ballet Stars
Karolina Kuras, Courtesy NBoC

It's hard to imagine the National Ballet of Canada without ballerina Greta Hodgkinson. Yet this week NBoC announced that the longtime company star will take her final bow in March, as Marguerite in Sir Frederick Ashton's Marguerite and Armand.

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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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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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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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