Studio to Street: Ebony Williams

When it comes to fashion, this Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet dancer is fearless. She will unabashedly wear a leotard—and just a leotard—out clubbing with friends, or put on a pair of five-inch Giuseppe Zanotti heels to go to work. “The great thing about living in New York is that there’s so many different people with different influences, you can be yourself,” she says. “I can go out in a bow-tie or suspenders or a full-body catsuit.” Williams’ biggest fashion influence is her mom, who always dolled her up in pumps and dresses as a kid. “She likes me to have style, to look like a girl. And to make sure I’m not coming out of the house looking crazy.”


The Details—Studio
Crop top: ?“This used  to be a unitard that I wore once while dancing with Beyoncé. I just cut off the legs.?”
Earrings: “I always wear earrings, even when I’m dancing. They’re a little decoration for the face, especially when I don’t want to wear makeup.”
Pants from a boutique in Puerto Rico: “I need some color on my body when I dance. Too much black kills me.”


The Details—Street

Blazer from Zara: “My pop of color.”
Top: “It’s got an open back, which is my signature look.”
Leather shorts: “I work hard for my body. Why not show a little skin?”
Heels: “I have 50 pairs of heels at home, and more in storage. I can do anything in heels: go out after rehearsal, run to catch a bus—no problem.”

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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