Look Who's Going to Cincinnati Ballet

Cincinnati Ballet has tapped some high-powered talent for its 50th-anniversary season: Christopher Stowell, who recently stepped down as artistic director of Oregon Ballet Theatre, and William Whitener, who recently left his Kansas City Ballet artistic director post, will both join the company as guest ballet masters, along with Balanchine repetiteur Paul Boos.

 

Stowell will join the company as artist in residence from July through September to coach and set choreography for The Kaplan New Works Series (running September 12-22) as well as Frisch's Presents the Nutcracker (December 20-29). Whitener will arrive in January to help with the world premiere of King Arthur's Camelot—in which he'll also perform the role of Merlin. Choreographed by Victoria Morgan, the ballet features a brand new score by composer John Estacio and includes a libretto created for Cincinnati Ballet by Eda Holmes. Boos makes his return to Cincinnati Ballet as a repetiteur for The Balanchine Trust to stage a production of Symphony in C next March, which will be presented in collaboration with BalletMet Columbus.

All three ballet masters clearly bring innovation and strong history with them to Cincinnati. Their expertise will help take the company to new heights for its celebratory anniversary season.

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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