Ballet Stars
María Álvarez in John Cranko's Romeo & Juliet. Photo by Liza Voll, Courtesy Boston Ballet.

In Boston Ballet's production of La Sylphide last spring, María Álvarez just about stole the show as Madge. With a conniving gleam in her eye and a grim, angular hitch in her step, she exuded a dramatic, malevolent energy and taut physicality that made the role totally her own. She credits renowned Royal Danish Ballet character artist Sorella Englund's coaching with helping her find the witch's inner torment. "She built the character in me, then gave me the freedom to make Madge alive," says Álvarez.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
From Broadway's Billy Elliot to Bournonville, Redhead performs with effortless charisma. Photo by Klaus Vedfelt, Courtesy Royal Danish Ballet.

The Royal Danish Ballet's Ballet Festival in Copenhagen this June could have doubled as a showcase for corps dancer Liam Redhead, 23. On opening night, Redhead demonstrated his Bournonville mettle with a floating ballon and effortless charisma in Napoli's Act I ballabile. Then he delivered dazzling jumps as the Jester in artistic director Nikolaj Hübbe's Swan Lake, and later unleashed visceral power in Akram Khan's Vertical Road.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
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.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Sailers, with Brett Sjoblom in Heather Britt's Claudette, is a true up-and-comer. Photo by Heather Thorne, Courtesy Nashville Ballet.

With the magical allure of a firefly against the night sky, Nashville Ballet's Imani Sailers displayed flashes of brilliance in Heather Britt's bendy, breezy contemporary pas de deux Claudette. It's fitting that this breakout moment for Sailers came during last season's Emergence series: Her performance proved why she is a true up-and-comer in the company.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Andrew Vecseri with artists of Houston Ballet in Stanton Welch's Powder. Photo by Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

It's hard not to notice Houston Ballet's Andrew Vecseri. With his strapping good looks, athletic build and confidence, Vecseri has a way of standing out in ensemble work without stealing the show. Whether he's dancing in Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Mayerling or juggling multiple ballets in mixed rep evenings, he comes across as a natural leader onstage. And while he's only in his second full season in the company, he has already started to step out of the corps, taking on a lead divertissement in The Nutcracker.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
"Very rarely do I come offstage without a smile on my face," says Wellington, here in Jerome Robbins' Goldberg Variations. Photo by Paul Kolnik, Courtesy New York City Ballet.

Lydia Wellington practically grew up at New York City Ballet. Her mom, a children's book author and illustrator and ballet enthusiast, used to take her to shows up in the fifth ring when she was a toddler—"it was cheaper than babysitting," says Wellington. So at age 7 it was almost natural for her to enter the School of American Ballet, where she spent the next 11 years, eventually graduating into the company.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Hagerman, here with Kevin Wilson and Liang Fu in Twyla Tharp's In The Upper Room, easily shifts between classical and contemporary roles. Photo by Kenny Johnson, Courtesy Kansas City Ballet.

Lilliana Hagerman stepped into the spotlight in 2016, dancing the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in Kansas City Ballet's Nutcracker during her first season as a full company member. But it's her chameleon-like ability to shift between classical and contemporary roles—such as her featured performances in Matthew Neenan's The Uneven and Stanton Welch's Play last season—which make this dancer so special.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Breanne Granlund stole the show in Michelle Dorrance's Praedicere. Photo by Marty Sohl, Courtesy ABT.

Anyone who watched American Ballet Theatre corps member Breanne Granlund during her years in the ABT Studio Company could have guessed that one day she'd be a standout in the main company. What they may not have predicted? That her breakout role would be in Praedicere, a pièce d'occasion by tap artist Michelle Dorrance, who had dancers sliding and stomping across the stage and well outside their comfort zones. In a work populated with many principals and soloists, Granlund was both the most striking and the most natural performer, tackling Dorrance's genre-bending movement with abandon and style.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Samantha Griffin in Balanchine's Serenade. Photo by Peter Mueller, Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet.

Intensity is Samantha Griffin's modus operandi, whether she's self-reflecting on an unhappy, gilded existence in Garrett Smith's Facades or violently whipping a metal chair into the wings in artistic director Victoria Morgan's Black Coffee. The 23-year-old Griffin puts all of her flexible 5' 8" frame to use in contemporary movement, which she prefers. "It fits my body well," she says. Yet she's also given dazzling performances in more neoclassical roles, including the Tall Girl soloist in Balanchine's "Rubies" and the Dark Angel in his Serenade.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
NBoC's November is a natural onstage. Photo by Karolina Kuras, Courtesy NBoC.

Siphesihle November scarcely touched the ground as he launched into The Sleeping Beauty's grueling Bluebird variation last March, dancing the avian steps with meticulous clarity and keen alertness to Tchaikovsky's music. Nothing was forced or showy; it looked disarmingly natural.

National Ballet of Canada artistic director Karen Kain hired November into the corps a year ago, right after he graduated from Canada's National Ballet School. The transition—no apprentice year—was daunting. "It's all fantasy until you get there," says November. "Then it hits you. This is really it!"

Keep reading... Show less

mailbox

Get Pointe Magazine in your inbox