Is there anything you would change about yourself as a dancer?
Sometimes I get hung up on certain steps or phrases. When you have a moment that doesn’t go well, it’s hard to let that go and continue as if it didn’t affect you.

Do you ever suffer from stage fright?
 I do when I have to deal with heights. In Swan Lake, I run all the way up this giant rock and jump off the top, which is terrifying for me. It’s a stunning ending, but my goodness!

How far along are you in the LEAP program at St. Mary’s College?
I’m very close to graduating. I really enjoy the management and business classes and might move on to business school. Recently I helped organize a fundraiser for the Children of Uganda, and found that to be fascinating.

Do you have any pointe shoe quirks?
I rosin my foot, because I don’t like to move in the shoe. I want it really tight, so it’s almost like my foot and the shoe are one.

You’ve done several music video projects, right?
My friend Sean Hayes is a local musician, though his music is all over now—it’s actually in one of the Subaru commercials. I’ve been in two of his music videos, including “When We Fall In,” which is on YouTube. He’s a sweetheart and I really love his music.  

Who inspires you as a dancer?
I’ve always admired Wendy Whelan. I took a class with her in New York once when I was 11 years old and I was terrified. She was so kind and sweet and generous. What I admire is not only that someone is phenomenal as a dancer or artist, but that they’re a really good person, too.

What is your favorite way to spend time outside of dance?
Relaxing with my friends and my boyfriend. I enjoy football, so I watch the games on Sunday. Also, though this might sound odd, I really enjoy cleaning! I’m a big organizer. It’s very meditative for me.

The Conversation
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Left: Misa Kuranaga in The Veritginous Thrill of Exactitude. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy Boston Ballet. Right: Sasha Mukhamedov in Apollo. Altin Kaftira, Courtesy Dutch National Ballet.

San Francisco Ballet just announced some major news: longtime Boston Ballet star Misa Kuranaga will be joining the company as a principal dancer for the 2019-20 season, while Dutch National Ballet principal Sasha Mukhamedov will join as a soloist. They join a slew of newly promoted SFB principals and soloists, announced earlier this year.

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The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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Xiao Nan Yu in company class. Aaron Vincent, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada.

On June 22, National Ballet of Canada principal Xiao Nan Yu will retire from the stage after 22 years with the company. Originally from Dalian, China, Yu studied at the Shen Yang School of Dance and the Beijing Dance Academy before coming to Canada's National Ballet School at age 17. She joined the National Ballet of Canada less than two years later, and was promoted to principal in 2001.

"She is a supreme dance actress with an innate ability to bring the audience into her world," says NBoC artistic director Karen Kain. "Nan has always brought such a calm confidence into the studio and has been a role model for so many dancers I will miss her generosity both inside the studio and out." We spoke with Yu as she prepared for her final week of performances. She opened up about her initial culture shock upon moving to Toronto, her thoughts on artistry and why she chose Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow as her final role.

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News
Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT

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

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