Guillem in Mats Ek's Bye. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy New York City Center.

Sylvie Guillem's Final Bow

This story originally appeared in the October/November 2015 issue of Pointe.

Legendary ballerina and contemporary dancer Sylvie Guillem will give the only U.S. run of her farewell tour, Life in Progress, November 12–14 at New York City Center. The extensive tour has already hit Italy, Poland, the UK, Greece, Russia, France, Spain, Australia and Taiwan. It will continue on to Austria before the final performances in Japan, in December.


Guillem will dance in three of the four works on the program. Akram Khan's new technê and Mats Ek's Bye are both solos for Guillem. La Scala soloist Emanuela Montanari will join her onstage in Russell Maliphant's Here & After (also a new work), while Brigel Gjoka and Riley Watts will perform William Forsythe's Duo—a testament to Guillem's appreciation of the choreographer's influence.

Guillem, who has made it clear that she will stop dancing while she still has pride in her artistry, has had a remarkable career spanning nearly 35 years. She will be 50 years old when she retires. She rocketed through the ranks at the Paris Opéra Ballet, and in 1984 Rudolf Nureyev appointed her, at age 19, to étoile. She went on to join The Royal Ballet as a principal guest artist and later transitioned into contemporary dance, developing collaborative partnerships with all of the choreographers featured in her farewell tour.

Latest Posts


Left to right: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Daphne Lee, Amanda Smith, Lindsey Donnell and Alexandra Hutchinson in a scene from Dancing Through Harlem. Derek Brockington, Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem

Dancers Share Their Key Takeaways After a Year of Dancing on Film

Creating dances specifically for film has become one of the most effective ways that ballet companies have connected with audiences and kept dancers employed during the pandemic. Around the world, dance organizations are finding opportunities through digital seasons, whether conceiving cinematic, site-specific pieces or filming works within a traditional theater. And while there is a consistent sentiment that nothing will ever substitute the thrill of a live show, dancers are embracing this new way of performing.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Liam Scarlett with Marianela Nuñez and Ryoichi Hirano during a rehearsal of his Swan Lake at The Royal Ballet. Andrej Uspenski, Courtesy ROH

Choreographer Liam Scarlett Has Died

Over the weekend, news broke that 35-year-old choreographer Liam Scarlett, a former artist in residence at The Royal Ballet, died suddenly at his home in England. "It is with great sadness that we announce the tragic, untimely death of our beloved Liam," Scarlett's family said in a brief statement. "At this difficult time for all of our family, we would ask that you respect our privacy to enable us to grieve our loss."

The cause of death was not disclosed.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Mikhail Baryshnikov in "Fancy Free" (1981)

In Jerome Robbins's 1944 ballet Fancy Free, three sailors on leave spend the day at a bar, attempting to woo two young women by out-dancing and out-charming one another. In this clip from 1981, Mikhail Baryshnikov, who was then both the artistic director of American Ballet Theatre and a leading performer with the company, pulls out all the stops to win the ladies' affections.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks