Ballet Stars

2019 Stars of the Corps: New York City Ballet's Mira Nadon

Mira Nadon in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB.

You can't miss Mira Nadon when she's onstage: The 18-year-old, who joined New York City Ballet as an apprentice in fall 2017 and became a corps member in 2018, is tall and raven-haired, and dances with fullness and lyricism, carried along by the music. At her 2017 School of American Ballet Workshop performance, she was the female lead in the dramatic second movement of Balanchine's Scotch Symphony. New York dance critic Robert Gottlieb, of The Observer, described her performance as "delicate yet authoritative, charming but never cute, fully expressive but never pushing, lyrical and strong." This past spring, as a demi-soloist in that ballet with NYCB, she projected those same qualities. "It felt so good to be in that music again, after spending three months in it at SAB," she says.


Nadon as the Courage Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty

Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB

Nadon, whose dream is to one day dance the pas de deux in "Diamonds," also has range; she was delicate in Mozartiana, but unflappable in Pam Tanowitz's knotty, jagged steps for Bartók Ballet. From the looks of it, she could take on just about any ballet in the repertoire, from the pas de deux in Agon to Odette/Odile or one of the leads in Concerto Barocco. Let's hope she gets her chance.

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:

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Everything Nutcracker
Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz as the Sugar Plum Fairy during a stage rehearsal for George Balanchine's Nutcracker. All photography by Arian Molina Soca.

For many professional ballet dancers, Nutcracker means weeks of performances. That usually translates to multiple casts—and important breakout opportunities for those in the junior ranks. On the afternoon of December 13, Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz made her debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy along with her Cavalier, corps member Austin Eylar. For the Brazilian-born dancer, who joined PAB in 2018 after two seasons at Houston Ballet, Sugar Plum marks one of her first principal roles.

"I'm really excited," says Golz. PAB artistic director Angel Corella appointed 12 casts of Sugar Plum Fairies over the run's 29 performances. "When I first found out, I was like, 'Pinch me!' I still can't believe it."

We caught up with Golz just before her debut to see how she prepared for her big break.

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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."

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