London ballet fans, get excited: It was just announced yesterday that Natalia Osipova will join The Royal Ballet. Her first role will be Juliet opposite Carlos Acosta this fall. The only problem? She's still on contract as a principal with both American Ballet Theatre and the Mikhailovsky Ballet. Although the Mikhailovsky director said she'd be warmly welcomed back to St. Petersburg for guest appearances, theartsdesk.com reports that ABT's Kevin McKenzie did not hide his frustrations when he found out that one of his biggest stars had made conflicting commitments right in the middle of the ABT season.

 

Another interesting plot twist is the fact that Osipova's fiancé, Ivan Vasiliev, is not part of her latest move. So far the ballet phenom has followed Osipova everywhere she went, leaving the Bolshoi for the Mikhailovsky when she did, taking on a contract with ABT when she did. For the past few years, the two have seemed like a packaged deal. This is the first time Osipova's taken such a bold step on her own.

 

At the moment, her reasons are unclear to observers. The Royal's repertoire isn't all that much different from ABT's (just swap in some McGregor for Ratmansky). It could possibly be the lure of London, where audiences adore her, and where she first emerged as a star with the Bolshoi. Maybe she simply wants to partner with Acosta. Or it might just be a case of wanderlust: When Pointe writer Elizabeth Kendall asked Osipova how she felt about leaving the Bolshoi last year, the star replied, "I don’t regret the decision. It feels much simpler and easier now without the Bolshoi. Maybe I’m that kind of person—not liking to be tied to one place."

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Roman Mejia Is Carving His Own Path at New York City Ballet

In a brightly lit studio high above the busy Manhattan streets, Roman Mejia rehearses George Balanchine's Allegro Brillante. Though just 20, the New York City Ballet corps dancer exudes an easy confidence. Practicing a tricky sequence of triple pirouettes into double tours his breathing becomes labored, but his focus doesn't waver. He works until he finds the music's inherent rhythm, timing his turns evenly and finally landing them with a satisfied smile.

Since joining NYCB in 2017, Mejia has had the chance to take on ballets ranging from Romeo + Juliet to Fancy Free to Kyle Abraham's hip-hop–infused The Runaway. Though he often finds himself the youngest person in the room, Mejia is rarely intimidated. He's been immersed in ballet since birth. His father, Paul Mejia, danced with NYCB in the 1960s, and his mother, Maria Terezia Balogh, danced for Chicago City Ballet and Fort Worth-Dallas Ballet. Both of Mejia's parents and his grandmother attended the School of American Ballet. Now, Mejia is quickly building on his family's legacy, creating buzz with his shot-from-a-cannon energy, rapid-fire footwork and charismatic charm.

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi Everyone,

These are challenging times. The social distancing measures brought about by COVID-19 has likely meant that your regular ballet training has been interrupted, while your performances, competitions—even auditions—have been cancelled. You may be feeling anxious about what the future holds, not only for you but for the dance industry. And that's perfectly understandable.

As you adjust to taking virtual ballet class from your living rooms, we here at Pointe are adjusting to working remotely from our living rooms. We've had to get a little creative, especially as we put our Summer Issue together, but like you we're taking full advantage of modern technology. Sure, it's a little inconvenient sometimes, but we're finding our groove.

And we know that you will, too. We've been utterly inspired by how the dance community has rallied together, from ballet stars giving online classes to companies streaming their performances to the flood of artist resources popping up. We've loved watching you dance from your kitchens. And we want to help keep this spirit alive. That's why Pointe and all of our Dance Media sister publications are working nonstop to produce and cross-post stories to help you navigate this crisis. We're all in this together.

We also want to hear from you! Send us a message on social media, or email me directly at abrandt@dancemedia.com. Tell us how you're doing, send us your ideas and show us your dance moves. Let the collective love we share for our beloved art form spark the light at the end of the tunnel—we will come out the other side soon enough.

Best wishes,

Amy

Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

As COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

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