From the flamenco of Carmen to the sprites of Rusalka, dance plays a supporting role in countless operas—and opera can play a significant part in a ballet dancer's career. Pointe went behind the curtain with three dancers whose artistic paths have led them to the opera world.
Rachel Speidel Little<p><strong>Performing with the San Francisco Opera since 2012</strong></p>
Cory Weaver, Courtesy San Francisco Opera
Jesse Campbell<p><strong>Performing with the Metropolitan Opera since 2018</strong></p>
Courtesy Metropolitan Opera
Eve Jacobs<p><strong></strong><strong>Performing with the Washington National Opera, 2017 and 2020</strong></p>
Scott Suchman, Courtesy Washington National Opera
Since the nationwide fight against racial inequality took center stage in May, organizations across the dance world have been looking for meaningful ways to show their support, rather than fall back on empty social media signifiers. July 10-11, Diamante Ballet Dancewear is taking action with Dance for Change, a two-day event dedicated to fundraising for the NAACP, and amplifying the voices of Black professional dancers.
Organized by Diamante Ballet Dancewear's founder, Nashville Ballet 2 dancer Isichel Perez, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre teacher Elise Gillum, Dance for Change makes it easy to participate. Dancers need only to make a donation to the NAACP (in any amount) and email proof to email@example.com to be given online access to a full schedule of Zoom master classes taught by Black pros artists. Teachers include Ballet Memphis' George Sanders, Boston Ballet's Daniel Durrett, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Corey Bourbonniere, and more. "It's important that we amplify BIPOC voices during this time, and it's also important that we're conscious of where we're putting our dollars," says Bourbonniere. "Diamante is doing both with Dance for Change, and I'm honored to be in this talented group of melanated dancers."
Friday, July 10<p>11 am-12 pm EDT: Ballet with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre soloist Corey Bourbonniere (featuring live accompaniment by pianist Daniel McTiernan)</p><p>12-1 pm EDT: Men's Class with Ballet Memphis soloist George Sanders </p><p>1-2 pm EDT: Pointe Class with South Valley Ballet's Simone Muhammad </p><p>2-3 pm EDT: Dance Cardio with freelance teacher Samantha Barriento </p>
Saturday, July 11<p>1-2 pm EDT: Jazz with Grand Rapids Ballet's Ednis Gomez</p><p>2-3 pm EDT: Ballet with Boston Ballet artist of the company Daniel Durrett (featuring live accompaniment by pianist Daniel McTiernan)</p><p>3-4 pm EDT: Conditioning with Dance Theatre of Harlem's <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/tag/derek-brockington" target="_blank">Derek Brockington</a> </p><p>After classes, head over to <a href="https://www.instagram.com/diamante.ballet/" target="_blank">@diamante.ballet</a> on Instagram for the following live events and raffle drawings.</p><p>5 pm EDT: Nutrition and Wellness Chat with NB2 dancers Alia Federico and Isichel Perez</p><p>7 pm EDT: Q&A with guest artist Sam Akins and Isichel Perez</p>
What are dancers to do when they're still stuck at home in isolation? After all, there's only so much time you can spend taking barre, tackling your reading list (or Netflix queue) or ticking items off your to-do list. Even wistfully looking out the window has lost its appeal after a few months.
That's when you need a dance party—even it's for a party of one.