Paloma Herrera's Next Step: Artistic Director

This morning, the Argentine newspaper La Nacion reported that Paloma Herrera has been appointed artistic director of Teatro Colón’s ballet company in Buenos Aires. The longtime American Ballet Theatre star replaces current artistic director Maximiliano Guerra, starting next week.

Herrera in Giselle. Photo by Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT.

Herrera, who trained at Colón’s school, has long been one of Argentina’s most celebrated ballerinas. She left Buenos Aires to study at the English National Ballet School and the School of American Ballet, and she spent the bulk of her 24-year career as a principal with ABT. (She earned that title at the tender age of 19—the youngest dancer at ABT to do so.) After her retirement in 2015, many wondered what her next step would be. Now, along with fellow ABT star Julie Kent (who recently took the helm of The Washington Ballet), Herrera joins a growing roster of female artistic directors.

 

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Gene Schiavone, Courtesy Boston Ballet

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

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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:

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Lindsay Martell at a class performance. Courtesy Martell.

More than once, when I'm sporting my faded, well-loved ballet hoodie, some slight variation of this conversation ensues:

"Is your daughter the dancer?"

"Actually," I say, "I am."

"Wow!" they enthuse. "Who do you dance with? Or have you retired...?"

"I don't dance with a company. I'm not a professional. I just take classes."

Insert mic drop/record scratch/quizzical looks.

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Kevin Lloyd Photography, Courtesy Ballet Jörgen

Canada's Ballet Jörgen is committed to telling Canadian stories by Canadian choreographers. For its next full-length ballet, director Bengt Jörgen turned to what he calls "perhaps the most quintessential Canadian story" of all time: Lucy Maud Montgomery's beloved 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, about the flame-haired, precocious orphan Anne Shirley. Jörgen is choreographing the work, which will debut in Halifax, Nova Scotia (not far from Anne's fictional home in Avonlea, Prince Edward Island), on September 28 before embarking on a two-year tour of Canada and the U.S.

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