Ballet Stars

The Standouts of 2018: NYCB Principal Sterling Hyltin in Robbins' "Afternoon of a Faun"

Hyltin in Jerome Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun. Photo by Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB.

New York City Ballet's Robbins 100 Festival last spring included 19 Jerome Robbins ballets performed over the course of two and a half weeks, requiring extreme stamina and versatility from the company's dancers. No one rose higher to the occasion than principal Sterling Hyltin. The festival showcased the breadth of her range, yet Hyltin shone brightest in Robbins' 1953 Afternoon of a Faun. From her first entrance through the door of the gauzy studio set to the end of the 11-minute pas de deux, Hyltin's embodiment of the role was complete; each movement expressed the naiveté and ethereal sensuality of her character. Her leggy, lithe physique is reminiscent of Tanaquil Le Clercq, the NYCB ballerina on whom the work was made and is now dedicated.


Anatomy of a Dance: Craig Hall on Jerome Robbins' AFTERNOON OF A FAUN www.youtube.com

Hyltin's total focus was most evident in her facial expressions; when she brought her hands to her cheek after being kissed, she exuded pure tenderness. One hopes that upcoming seasons give Hyltin more opportunities to act as a vessel for Robbins' timeless works.

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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.

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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?

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Ballet Careers
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As an aspiring or professional dancer, whose voice do you hear the most in your head? While you may think it's the voice of your teacher, ballet master or director, or perhaps even your friends and colleagues, it's most likely your own. Even when we're not speaking out loud, we're in constant dialogue with ourselves. But whether you're thinking about choreography or your to-do list, how does that voice sound?

In a field that is already hypercritical, let's pause and evaluate exactly what we're saying to ourselves. Is our inner voice helping, or could it be hurting?

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James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)

Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.

Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.

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