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Sascha Radetsky's Latest Role

As Von Rothbart in ABT's "Swan Lake." Photo by Gene Schiavone, courtesy ABT.

Former American Ballet Theatre soloist Sascha Radetsky has been named the director of New York University's master's in ballet pedagogy program, which runs in partnership with ABT. The program, officially titled "Teaching Dance in the Professions with a concentration in ABT Ballet Pedagogy," prepares participants for a career in ballet research, or teaching positions at company schools or in higher education. Dancers who come through ABT's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JKO) School are often noted for their unaffected, pure technique. Students in NYU's master's program study that same ABT approach to ballet education, but from the perspective of pedagogy rather than performance.

Radetsky had a notable onstage career, and achieved wider visibility than many ballet dancers thanks to his role as Charlie in the dance movie (and cult favorite) Center Stage. He also recently played the sleazy Ross on Starz's TV show "Flesh and Bone." He has written for magazines and websites and was awarded one of NYU's Center for Ballet and the Arts' fellowships for an upcoming writing project. His talent for dancing, acting and writing is obvious—and it's likely he'll be successful as a program director, too.

Summer Intensive Survival
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There's a sweet spot toward the end of August—after summer intensives have wrapped up and before it's time to head back to school or work—where the days are long, lazy and begging to be spent neck-deep in a pile of good books. Whether you're looking for inspiration for the upcoming season or trying to brush up on your dance history, you can never go wrong with an excellent book on ballet. We've gathered eight titles (all available at common booksellers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble) guaranteed to give you a deeper understanding of the art form, to add to your end-of-summer reading list.

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James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico warm up onstage. Angela Sterling, Courtesy SDC.

On a sunny July weekend, hundreds of Seattle-area dance fans converged on tiny Vashon Island, a bucolic enclave in Puget Sound about 20 miles from the city. They made the ferry trek to attend the debut performance of the fledgling Seattle Dance Collective.

SDC is not a run-of-the-mill contemporary dance company; it's the brainchild of two of Pacific Northwest Ballet's most respected principal dancers: James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico. The duo wanted to create a nimble organization to feature dancers and choreographers they felt needed more exposure in the Pacific Northwest.

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Roman Mejia in Robbins' Dances at a Gathering. Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB.

The Princess Grace Foundation has just announced its 2019 class, and we're thrilled that two ballet dancers—New York City Ballet's Roman Mejia and BalletX's Stanley Glover—are included among the list of über-talented actors, filmmakers, playwrights, dancers and choreographers.

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The Royal Ballet's Alexander Campbell and Yasmine Naghdi in Ashton's The Two Pigeons. Tristram Kenton, Courtesy ROH.

While most ballet casts are 100 percent human, it's not unheard of for live animals to appear onstage, providing everything from stage dressing to supporting roles. Michael Messerer's production of Don Quixote features a horse and a donkey; American Ballet Theatre's Giselle calls for two Russian wolfhounds; and Sir Frederick Ashton's La Fille Mal Gardee requires a white Shetland pony. Another Ashton masterpiece, The Two Pigeons, is well known for its animal actors. But though ballet is a highly disciplined, carefully choreographed art form, some performers are naturally more prone to flights of fancy—because they're birds.

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