Keenan Kampa's Breezy Style Has Us Dreaming of Summer

Photo by Joe Toreno

Keenan Kampa counts Alexa Chung and Iris Apfel among her fashion inspirations, but her favorite style icon is someone she considers one of her best friends. “Not to be weird," she says, “but I really loved my grandfather's style. He was this badass marine nuclear physicist, but then also this old Irish man." His oversized button-ups in plaid or denim (“he always liked a front pocket," she adds) have become a staple of her wardrobe. She favors comfortable, flattering pieces that work with her active lifestyle—you'll often find her riding her bike—in neutral tones like black, white or head-to-toe denim. “If I'm going to do a color, I commit to it and do it all," she says. In the studio, loose-fitting layers are her go-to. “I hate when I feel like I can't reach a line fully because of clothing restrictions, and leotards that are too tight," she says, adding that sometimes she'll wear swimsuits instead. “I'm at kind of a different stage than I was a few years ago. I used to go to class with things that were a little bit more fun and flashy. Now it's just things that make me feel good."



Photo by Joe Toreno

The Details—Street

Denim shirt: “This is from a little vintage store in Paris and was probably a man's. I wear a lot of men's clothing."
Jeffrey Campbell boots: “I love these boots so much, I have two pairs. They're dressy enough that I can start off the day with them, and at night I can go out and they look good."
Printed bag: “I got this when I was at the Cannes Film Festival. There's this French designer who takes pictures of her pug dog and dresses him up and then puts it on pillowcases and wallets and stuff."


Photo by Joe Toreno

The Details—Studio

Adidas shirt: “I have a lot of Adidas stuff. They're clever and creative—they're doing collaborations with so many designers, too."
Black pants: “I think after being in ballet school for so long and then transitioning to a company, I'm tired of dancing just in my leotard and skirt."
Sansha slippers: “For flats I wear Sanshas because they're comfortable and they're wide enough. I'm always in-between brands with my pointe shoes."

Ballet Careers
Sisters Isabella Shaker and Alexandra Pullen. Photo Courtesy Alexandra Pullen.

This is the second in a series of articles this month about ballet siblings.

My mom was in the corps de ballet at American Ballet Theatre. A generation later, so was I. As if that's not enough for one family, my younger sister Isabella Shaker dreams of following in our dancing footsteps. Her endeavor, and her status as somewhat of a child prodigy, stirs feelings of pride and apprehension within me, since I have lived through the ups and downs of this intense yet rewarding career.

Ballet will always be my first love and the thing that brings me the most joy, and my dance career has opened endless opportunities for me. However, it's a difficult career path that requires a lifelong dedication. It's super competitive and can lead to body image issues, physical injury and stress. Most dancers will face some of these problems; I definitely dealt with all three.

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Ballet Stars
Photo by Gabriel Davalos, Courtesy Valdés

For decades the name Alicia Alonso has been virtually synonymous with Ballet Nacional de Cuba, the company she co-founded in Havana in 1948. Alonso died on October 17, just shy of what would have been her 99th birthday. In recent years, she had stepped back from day-to-day decision-making in the company. As if preparing for the future, in January, the company's leading ballerina, 42-year-old Viengsay Valdés, was named deputy director, a job that seems to encompass most of the responsibilities of a traditional director. Now, presumably, she will step into her new role as director of the company. Her debut as curator of the repertory comes in November, when the troupe will perform three mixed bills selected by her at the Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso. The following has been translated from a conversation conducted in Spanish, Valdés' native tongue.

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Ballet Stars
Photo by Jayme Thornton

It's National Bullying Prevention Month—and Houston Ballet breakout star Harper Watters is exactly the advocate young dancers facing bullying need. Watters is no novice when it comes to slaying on social media, but his Bullying Prevention Month collaboration with Teen Vogue and Instagram is him at his most raw, speaking about his own experiences with bullies, and how his love of dance helped him to overcome adversity. Watters even penned an incredible op-ed for Teen Vogue's website, where he talks candidly about growing up queer. Catch his amazing anti-bullying video here—and, as Watters says, "Stay fabulous, stay flawless, stay flexible, but most importantly, stay fearless."

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News
Alicia Alonso with Igor Youskevitch. Sedge Leblang, Courtesy Dance Magazine Archives.

Her Dying Swan was as fragile as her Juliet was rebellious; her Odile, scheming, her Swanilda, insouciant. Her Belle was joyous, and her Carmen, both brooding and full-blooded. But there was one role in particular that prompted dance critic Arnold Haskell to ask, "How do you interpret Giselle when you are Giselle?"

At eight, Alicia Alonso took her first ballet class on a stage in her native Cuba, wearing street clothes. Fifteen years later, put in for an ailing Alicia Markova in a performance of Giselle with Ballet Theatre, she staked her claim to that title role.

Alonso received recognition throughout the world for her flawless technique and her ability to become one with the characters she danced, even after she became nearly blind. After a career in New York, she and her then husband Fernando Alonso established the Cuban National Ballet and the Cuban National Ballet School, both of which grew into major international dance powerhouses and beloved institutions in their home country. On October 17, the company announced that, after leading the company for a remarkable 71 years, Alonso died from cardiovascular disease at the age of 98.

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