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San Francisco Ballet Dancers Win Erik Bruhn Prize

Natasha Sheehan and Angelo Greco of San Francisco Ballet. Aleksandar Antonijevic, Courtesy NBoC.

San Francisco Ballet dancers Natasha Sheehan and Angelo Greco were announced the winners of the 12th International Erik Bruhn Prize on Wednesday. Hamburg Ballet soloist Marc Jubete won the Choreographic Prize for his new work, Remember. The competition, which honors the legacy of Danish ballet dancer Erik Bruhn, was held November 15 in Toronto; participants included promising young dancers from five major companies: American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, The Royal Ballet and National Ballet of Canada.


Sheehan has quickly become one to watch. The 17-year-old San Francisco native, who grew up through SFB's school, was featured in the company's 2016 opening night gala while just a trainee. She was swiftly promoted into the corps de ballet, skipping the apprentice level. Greco, who was a major standout during SFB's World Ballet Day segment, joined the company this year as a soloist after dancing with La Scala Ballet. (Another La Scala-to-SFB transplant, principal Carlo Di Lanno, won last year's prize.) The competition was also a major boon for Jubute, who has been steadily creating works since 2013, mostly for Hamburg's junior company, the National Youth Ballet.

The Erik Bruhn Prize has become a major predictor of future stars (past winners include Julie Kent and Johan Kobborg), so it will be exciting to see how these dancers' careers will unfold. Congratulations to all!

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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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Dane Shitagi, Courtesy Chronicle Books

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From left: Kathryn Posin Dance Company members Daniel White, Claire Mazza and Momchil Mladenov in Evolution: The Letters of Charles Darwin. Nan Melville, Courtesy Posin.

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