New York City Ballet has created a charming video trailer for their Spring HERE/NOW season, a festival of works created for the company over the past several decades. It's a great complement to the Royal Ballet videos (check them out at the bottom of the post!) detailing how ballet has evolved over the past 200 years or so. And, as I wrote in March, ballet trailers are getting more and more beautiful.


Ballet historians might notice that the female characters from Nijinsky's L'après midi d'un Faune are wearing pointe shoes. In the actual version, the female characters are in sandals. Also, the dancers representing the romantic, early-1800s era of ballet give themselves away with distinctive "Balanchine" hands. The trailer is more "New York City Ballet does dance history," and less an historical reenactment.

On a slightly more sour note, I can't help but notice that the hyper-sexualized role of the Faun is given to one of the company's few African-American men, Christopher Grant, while the elegant Prince Siegfried is danced by a white man, principal Ask la Cour. Both are principal roles, requiring different kinds of virtuosity, and either dancer might be better suited for either role. It's hard not to wonder whether unconscious perceptions influenced casting.

In the same vein, corps member Olivia Boisson has been getting a lot of air time lately, what with this trailer and the company's partnership with PUMA. Yet her stage time has not appeared to keep pace, at least not in featured roles. With all the talk about racial diversity in ballet, companies might feel pressure to make cosmetic changes to their most outward-facing media outlets (like YouTube videos) and feature their dancers of color—while not featuring them onstage. Let's hope that Boisson's prominence and Grant's moment in a principal role are good signs for the Spring season.

Watch the Royal Ballet videos below:

For more news on all things ballet, don't miss a single issue.

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
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.

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