News

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Milwaukee Ballet Showcase Choreography by Company Dancers

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre: New Works choreographers (from left): Cooper Verona, William Moore, Amanda Cochrane, Yoshiaki Nakano and Julia Erickson. Photo by Duane Rieder, Courtesy PBT.

This spring, Milwaukee Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre are each putting on programs composed entirely of choreography by company dancers. February 8 marks the premiere of Milwaukee Ballet's MXE Milwaukee Mixed, featuring pieces by Garrett Glassman, Timothy O'Donnell, Isaac Sharratt, Nicole Teague-Howell and Petr Zahradnícˇek. On March 16, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre: New Works opens with ballets by Amanda Cochrane, Julia Erickson, Yoshiaki Nakano, Jessica McCann, William Moore, JoAnna Schmidt and Cooper Verona.


For MB artistic director Michael Pink, the idea was inspired by the success of the company's biennial Genesis: International Choreographic Competition. "Because of the competition, our audiences have really embraced the idea of seeing new work," says Pink. And he's taking creativity to the next level; each choreographer is working with local musicians. While O'Donnell and Zahradnícˇek already hold the title of resident choreographer, the program will also showcase three lesser-seen artists. "These choreographers aren't just step arrangers," says Pink, "but people who have a voice."

PBT artistic director Terrence S. Orr says that the inspiration for the company's program came from the dancers themselves. He sought out those who had been choreographing for PBT's school or working on their own projects outside of the company. Orr believes that the chance to create for their peers will provide tremendous growth for the dancers. "It's important to have the main classics," says Orr, "but the only thing that's going to sustain ballet is fresh new choreography that represents our time."

Viral Videos

Buying your first pair of pointe shoes is a huge milestone. Below, ThePointeShop's Josephine Lee gives some of her top tips on finding the best fit for first time pointe shoe wearers.

Keep reading... Show less
Rachel Neville, Courtesy Audition Dancewear

When you dig through your collection of leotards before class, do you ever think about how they're made, or what they're made from? Chances are, most dancers don't, and Audition Dancewear wants to do something about that.

The company—run by two mother-daughter duos, Kathy and Caroline Perry and Shelly and Suzanna Lathrum—has begun making leotards from recycled materials to reduce their carbon footprint and raise awareness around plastic consumption. The result is a sleek line of leos that don't sacrifice style or function, and that use four or five recycled water bottles per leo.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Careers
American Contemporary Ballet in rehearsal. Anastasia Petukhova, Courtesy ACB.

Lincoln Jones felt there was a pertinence missing from ballet when he decided to form American Contemporary Ballet. "People looking at a film today can pick apart screenwriting versus art direction and editing," says Jones. "They are really conversant with it. I thought ballet is never going to feel super-relevant until people can do that."

So how to do that? Connect the audience to the show.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored by The Rock School
From left: Sarah Lapointe, Derek Dunn and Jeanette Kakareka. Courtesy The Rock School

For more than five decades, The Rock School for Dance Education has been launching young dancers into professional ballet careers around the globe. Boasting distinguished alumni such as Beckanne Sisk, Michaela DePrince and Taylor Stanley, the Philadelphia-based institution has garnered a well-deserved reputation for pairing rigorous training with a tight-knit, welcoming community. Their summer intensives are no different, with a wealth of prestigious faculty members, many of whom are Rock School alums currently dancing at companies around the world.

What inspires busy pros to keep returning to their alma mater? We talked to three of The Rock School's buzziest alums about why they make it a priority to come back and teach:

Keep reading... Show less