News

Michaela DePrince Is the New Face of Chase Bank

Did anyone else do a double take while watching the Grammys on Sunday? As in, was that Michaela DePrince leaping across my TV screen during a Chase commercial? Well, the answer is yes. The Dutch National Ballet soloist and best-selling author now joins the likes of pro athletes Serena Williams and Stephen Curry in the bank's ad campaign promoting its QuickPay Mobile App.


The commercial, named "Michaela's Way," shows DePrince soaring high above the heads of two dreamy pianists (playing a tongue-in-cheek version of Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball"). The voiceover announces that DePrince can transfer money to practically anyone with the bank's mobile app, "all while performing a grand jeté between two grand pianos." It then cuts to DePrince and her sister Mia lounging in front of the television: "In real life she uses it to pay her sister from her couch, for the sweater she stained."

DePrince, a hero in the dance world for her inspirational journey from war orphan to professional dancer, is increasingly breaking into mainstream culture through her endorsements (like this one with Jockey), her profile on "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly", her glamorous stint in Beyoncé's "Lemonade" video and her viral TEDx Talk. She's also been a tireless ambassador for War Child Holland, an organization that provides education, psychosocial support and protection to children whose lives have been affected by war. DePrince, who's been recovering from an Achilles tendon rupture over the last few months, recently started a vlog series on YouTube to allow her fans to get to know her better. We say bring it on—we love the exposure she's giving not only to ballet but to important social issues.

News
The Joffrey Ballet's Amanda Assucena and Greig Matthews in Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre. Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet.

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

Keep reading... Show less
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:

Keep reading... Show less
News
Herman Cornejo in Don Quixote. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT.

American Ballet Theatre's fall season at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater offers a chance to see the company in shorter works and mixed-repertoire programs. This year's October 16–27 run honors principal Herman Cornejo, who's celebrating his 20th anniversary with the company. Cornejo will be featured in a special celebratory program as well as a new work by Twyla Tharp (her 17th for the company), set to Johannes Brahms' String Quartet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 111. The October 26 program will include Cornejo in a pas de deux with his sister, former ABT dancer Erica Cornejo.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Careers
Gray Davis with wife, ABT soloist Cassandra Trenary, after his graduation from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Courtesy Trenary.

When Gray Davis retired from American Ballet Theatre in July of 2018, he moved home to South Carolina, unsure of what would come next. Last month, just over a year later, Davis graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Today, he's working as a deputy for the Abbeville County Sheriff's Office.

Though Davis danced in ABT's corps for 11 years and is married to soloist Cassandra Trenary, to many he's best known for saving the life of a man who was pushed onto the subway tracks in New York City in 2017. The heroic effort earned him the New York State Liberty Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by a member of the New York State Senate. We caught up with Davis to hear about how the split second decision he made in the subway affected the course of his life, what it's been like starting a second career and what he sees as the similarities between ballet and law enforcement.

Keep reading... Show less