(Vaganova Academy graduate Olga Smirnova and Karim Abdullin, photo by Damir Yusupov)

 

Even though he was Russian and trained at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, George Balanchine's work has never been performed by students at the school. Now, through an exciting collaboration between the Mikhailovsky Theatre, Open World Dance Foundation and the George Balanchine Trust, students at the school will perform Balanchine's Raymonda Variations on November 29. The performance will be staged by former New York City Ballet soloist and repetiteur Darla Hoover.

The project is a true meeting of cultures and time periods. The Mikhailovsky is one of Russia's younger ballet companies, while the Vaganova Academy (formerly the Imperial Ballet School) is more than 276 years old. Raymonda premiered in 1961, mid-career for Balanchine—who went by Georgi Balanchivadze when he was a student. As well as serving as an expert on Balanchine ballets, Hoover is the artistic director of her own program: the pre-professional division at New York City's Ballet Academy East.

As Nikolai Tsiskaridze, director of the Academy says, "I am proud that the masterpieces of Balanchine, who was Georgian by birth, Russian by culture and the greatest of all American choreographers, are being performed by a new generation and continue to hold a grand place in the world of ballet."

 

The Conversation
Viral Videos
Via YouTube

Master pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee of the California-based ThePointeShop catches up with Moscow-based Russian State Ballet Theater dancer Matisse Love to hear all of her pointe shoe hacks, particularly her tips for pancaking. Before joining Russian State Ballet Theater, Love, a Los Angeles native, graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and had a recurring role on the TV show Bunheads.

The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

Keep reading... Show less
Pacific Northwest Ballet principals Rachel Foster and Jonathan Porretta took their final curtain call on June 9, 2019. Photo by Lindsay Thomas, Courtesy PNB

We all know dance careers are temporary. But this season, it feels like we're saying goodbye to more stars than usual.

Many have turned to social media to share their last curtain calls, thoughts on what it feels like to say farewell to performing, and insights into the ways that dancing has made them who they are. After years of dedicating your life to the studio and stage, the decision to stop dancing is always an emotional one. Each dancer handles it in their own way—whether that means cheekily admitting to having an existential crisis, or simply leaving with no regrets about what you did for love.

We will miss these dancers' performances, but can't wait to see what awaits each in their next chapters.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Houston Ballet's Yuriko Kajiya and Linnar Looris in "The Merry Widow." Photo by Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy of Houston Ballet.

With Houston Ballet's Sunday performance of Marie, the company bade farewell not only to its spring season, but to two of its most beloved leading men: principal Jared Matthews and first soloist Linnar Looris each took their final bows on the Wortham Theater Center stage. Both men will travel soon to Estonia, where they will work together to lead the Estonian National Ballet, with Looris serving as the company's artistic director and Matthews as the assistant to the artistic director.

Keep reading... Show less