The Mikhailovsky Ballet's Historic U.S. Tour

The Mikhailovsly Ballet's Angelina Vorontsova in The Flames of Paris. Stas Levshin, Courtesy Mikhailovsky.

This fall, the Mikhailovsky Ballet lands in the U.S. for the first time, performing at the David H. Koch Theater in New York City November 11–23, and at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in California November 28–30. The company has increasingly positioned itself as a threat to the Mariinsky Ballet and the Bolshoi Ballet, though it continues to grapple with internal problems.


The Mikhailovsky currently operates without an artistic director. Nacho Duato left the job for Berlin last season but remains resident choreographer. Ballet master in chief Mikhail Messerer oversees the company on a daily basis, and is looking for another modern choreographer to step in—potentially as artistic director. "We want our dancers to have modern work created on them," Messerer says.

Angelina Vorontsova and Victor Lebedev in "Don Quixote." Stas Levshin, Courtesy Mikhailovsky.

The company has been successful under businessman Vladimir Kekhman—general director since 2007—but recent turnover has called its stability into question. The arrival and swift departure of artistic advisor and répétiteur Altynai Asylmuratova, and principal dancers Kristina Shapran and Oksana Bondareva, have contributed to a feeling of uncertainty.

International stars Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev remain on the roster, and despite other commitments, will lead the U.S. tour. With four programs on offer, including a triple bill of three centuries of Russian ballet, audiences will have an opportunity to see the company's breadth.
"I thought we needed to show our current state, that is our new works and stars," says Messerer.

Viral Videos

Josephine Lee of the California-based ThePointeShop gives pointe shoe fitting tips for what she calls "octopus feet"; feet that slide down and fit into whatever shoes they're in.

Keep reading... Show less
Francisco Estevez, Courtesy Colorado Ballet Academy

When you're looking for a ballet program to take you to the next level, there are a lot of factors to consider. While it's tempting to look for the biggest name that will accept you, the savvy dancer knows that successful training has more to do with the attention and opportunities you'll get.

We put together a few of the most important things for dancers to look for in a summer or year-round training program, with the help of the experts at Colorado Ballet Academy:

Keep reading... Show less
Larke Johnson in rehearsal. Courtesy The Joffrey Ballet

Marie and Franz have a new guest at their Christmas Eve party this year. Emma Lookatch and Larke Johnson, both dancers in the Adaptive Dance Program at Joffrey Academy of Dance: Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, are alternating in the new role of Worker Girl. It is a permanent part created specifically for students with disabilities in Christopher Wheeldon's version of The Nutcracker at The Joffrey Ballet.

Keep reading... Show less
Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy US Prix de Ballet

The US Prix de Ballet is taking an unconventional approach to the ballet competition—by putting the competitors' health first. After a successful first year in 2018, the Prix is returning to San Diego, CA this February with an even more comprehensive lineup of wellness workshops and master classes, in addition, of course, to the high-level competition.

Though the talent is top-notch, the environment is friendly, says HARID Conservatory faculty member Victoria Schneider, who serves on US Prix de Ballet's elite panel of judges. "The wellbeing of the dancer is the main focus," says Schneider, who awarded three scholarships to HARID at last year's competition.

US Prix de Ballet was born after its founders traveled to the Japan Grand Prix International Ballet Competition in 2016. "The company ran every aspect of the competition with professionalism, dignity, honor and precision," says founder Neisha Hernandez. "We knew we wanted this level of experience for America."

Keep reading... Show less