Want to get your Vaganova on this summer? There are a few new programs out there that fly American students to Russia, but there's also great Russian training closer to home. One place to look into is master teacher Mansur Kamaletdinov’s Vaganova Summer School in Crafton, PA. Kamaletdinov studied directly under Aggripina Vaganova, and went on to perform with both the Kirov and the Bolshoi Ballets. His summer school focuses on improving students' musicality and performance quality by coaching classical and character variations from Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Le Corsaire and Giselle, among other iconic ballets. Kamaletdinov also teaches the dancers Russian ballet history, music and theatrical design. The program is split by level into five one-week sessions, held throughout July and August. Admission is by audition, either during one of Kamaletdinov’s master classes or by DVD. For more information, see russianballet.net.
Bunheads tuning in to the season premiere of ABC's "The Bachelor" on January 4 may have recognized a familiar face: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Alicia Mae Holloway, literally bourréeing out of a limousine to greet bachelor Matt James. While Holloway unfortunately didn't get a rose that night, she did thoroughly enjoy being the long-running reality franchise's first professional-ballerina contestant, as she told Pointe in a recent Zoom call.
Alicia Mae Holloway
Renee Choi, Courtesy Holloway
Carla Fracci, a former principal dancer of La Scala Ballet in Milan, is among the rare class of ballerinas who continued to perform into her 50s and beyond. Romantic ballets were her calling card throughout her career. In 1987, when Fracci was 51, she was featured in a television special, dancing reconstructed 19th-century ballets in the style of historical ballerinas. In this clip of La Esmeralda from the program, Fracci and her partner Stephen Jefferies, a former principal at The Royal Ballet, deliver an extraordinary performance, capturing the verve and spirit of their characters.