Ballet Stars

2018 Stars of the Corps: Pennsylvania Ballet's Sydney Dolan

Seventeen-year-old Syndey Dolan won a 2018 Princess Grace Award. Here she dances with Federico Ortenzi in Swan Lake. Photo by Arian Molina Soca, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet.

When you watch Sydney Dolan dance, it's no surprise she's having one of those storied ballet-world ascents. She eats up the stage with the sort of intention rarely seen in 17-year-olds; every move is lush, technically sound and refreshingly honest. By the time she wrapped up her apprenticeship with Pennsylvania Ballet this spring, she'd already performed two coveted principal roles—Dewdrop in Balanchine's Nutcracker and Lilac Fairy in Angel Corella's The Sleeping Beauty—bringing to them a sense of awe and humility that you just can't fake.


Dolan in rehearsal for "The Nutcracker." Photo by Arian Molina Socia, Courtesy PAB.

Dolan grew up training in North Carolina and was a fixture on the ballet competition circuit, having competed at both Youth America Grand Prix and the World Ballet Competition. She joined Pennsylvania Ballet II in 2016 and was promoted to apprentice in 2017, becoming a full-fledged corps member in August.

While she's had her fair share of time in the spotlight, Dolan feels equally at home with her fellow corps members. "The corps paints the picture," she says. "Without it, these ballets wouldn't be the masterpieces they are. The sense of community when we're all up there together gives me the chills."

The Conversation
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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