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Cylla von Tiedemann, Courtesy NBoC

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

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Viral Videos

Few things are more powerful for promoting ballet performances than captivating trailers—especially in today's visually-focused, digitally-connected world.

We've rounded up some eye-catching ads from seasons past and present that not only make us wish we could have seen the show, but also stand alone as short films.

Bucharest National Opera's La Sylphide

Magnifying the scarf which—spoiler alert—brings about the ballet's tragic conclusion, this 2013 Bucharest National Opera's trailer turns that fateful fabric into a beautiful, deadly web. Its windswept movements form a dance of its own.

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Just for fun

Few things are more powerful for promoting ballet performances than captivating trailers—especially in today's visually-focused, digitally-connected world.

We've rounded up some eye-catching ads from seasons past and present that not only make us wish we could have seen the show, but also stand alone as short films.

Bucharest National Opera's La Sylphide

Magnifying the scarf which—spoiler alert—brings about the ballet's tragic conclusion, this 2013 Bucharest National Opera's trailer turns that fateful fabric into a beautiful, deadly web. Its windswept movements form a dance of its own.

Keep reading... Show less

Photo by Linda Johnson.

Kelsey Hellebuyck isn't afraid of new experiences. After dancing with Boston Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet, she took a bold leap, joining Kansas City Ballet this fall. Pointe spoke with Hellebuyck about her new home before her KCB debut this weekend in Bruce Well's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

 

What has this move been like?

I've already done this a couple times in my career, but I just hoped this new place would be supportive. So far everybody seems very kind, but it's not all new—a lot of people I've danced with or went to school with are actually here, like Tempe Ostergren. When I first joined Boston Ballet, she was there and was the older corps member dancers aspired to be like.

 

How have Midsummer rehearsals been going?

I've done Balanchine's Midsummer four times, so doing a different version is like learning another Nutcracker: You see the old choreography, but then you have to be like, "Nope! Erase that. Let's learn something else." I'm a fairy, and Bruce has an interesting take on it. He doesn't want the arms to be too Swan Lake-y but more like an insect. We do this thing called "the bug" which is like a spider spinning its web.

 

What are some of the lessons you've learned so far in your career?

Oh, geez. I've learned so much. When I joined Boston Ballet, I was 16 and just wanted to please. I didn't know how to pace myself and would get so stressed out. But as I grew up, I learned to work smarter, not harder. It's important to take a step back and realize that you've worked your whole life to get to do what you love for a living. Also, you can't worry about casting because sometimes your director has plans for you that you don't know about. I'm glad I learned that fairly young, so now I don't worry.

 

KCB's season opens this Friday with A Midsummer Night's Dream. Performances run Oct. 7-9 and 14-16 in Kansas City, MO. 

 

For more news on all things ballet, don't miss a single issue.

Miami City Ballet principal Patricia Delgado as Titania. Photo by Alberto Oviedo, Courtesy MCB.

To celebrate its 30th-anniversary season, Miami City Ballet is making a splash. The company's closing program this spring will transplant A Midsummer Night's Dream, Balanchine's 1962 full-length ballet, to the Florida shore, diving underwater for elements of the supernatural realm. Coral Castle, a romantic old-Miami landmark, provides the model for the court in this production. The ballet premieres tonight at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.

“The reimagining gives us a great chance to mount a masterpiece with inspiration from the place where we live," says artistic director Lourdes Lopez. For years, Lopez has wanted to see this Shakespeare-based ballet, with sundry music by Felix Mendelssohn, as a new concept. Now, The George Balanchine Trust has approved her vision while counting on her to keep the choreography intact.

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On August 20, the dance world will welcome a new interpretation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and this one is sure to sparkle. The Royal New Zealand Ballet, previously directed by Ethan Stiefel and now lead by former La Scala dancer Francesco Ventriglia, has commissioned Liam Scarlett to choreograph a brand-new version of the comedic, whimsical work.

 

RNZB and Queensland Ballet are collaborating on the production, which will tour through New Zealand August 20 through September 20. Costume and set designer Tracy Grant Lord will adorn the stage with thousands of lights, butterflies and many more flecks of glitter. While Sir Frederick Ashton’s and Balanchine’s iconic versions of Midsummer are unlikely to be dislodged from company repertoires worldwide, the tale is surely in capable hands with the young Scarlett, who has cut his choreographic teeth with commissions from The Royal Ballet and New York City Ballet, among other companies. For now, we await the reception of the performance down under and hope it heads to our hemisphere soon!

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If you're like me, you had at least one photo of Patricia Barker on your wall growing up. The longtime Pacific Northwest Ballet principal was a fearless, eloquent interpreter of Balanchine works, in particular, and ballet fans around the world could write sonnets about her beautiful feet. Today, she's artistic director of Grand Rapids Ballet in Michigan.

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Houston Ballet's González in the studio. Photo by Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet

Houston Ballet's season opener, A Midsummer Night's Dream by John Neumeier (Sept. 4-14), marks many spectacular firsts. Not only is it the company's first Neumeier ballet, but it will be the first production of his Midsummer danced by an American company. For Pointe's biweekly newsletter, we spoke with principal Karina González about learning the role of Titania.


How have rehearsals been going?
They've been amazing. It's my first time working with Neumeier, and I'd been dreaming of working with him for so long. In our first rehearsal with him, he spent almost an hour explaining the characters and the story from beginning to end. But he said that he didn't create the ballet exactly by the book. It was more about the feeling that he had when he watched the play of Midsummer. It's very interesting to work with him because he wants to see both who you are as a dancer and who you are in your character.

 

How would you describe Neumeier's version of Titania?
He created two very different worlds for her. In the first act she starts as this beautiful queen, very elegant and regal and her steps are balletic and pretty. And then when she falls asleep and enters the magic world of the dream, it's like she becomes a creature. I think she's a little animalistic. In other versions, I feel like you wait for the fairies with glitter and wings, but here she is a creature in a unitard, grounded and powerful.

What has been most challenging part of the process?
I'm the kind of dancer--I'm not sure whether it's good or bad--that first needs to get the steps, the counts, the musicality before I give you feelings and character. Neumeier and the stagers want us to find the character first. In rehearsals, we have an hour to learn a pas de deux, and they tell you the story and the feeling that you need to have. And I'm like, Okay, give me a second to figure it out first, and then I can give you my everything.


What advice would you give to aspiring professionals who are learning a role for the first time?

I always say that you need to be like a sponge in the studio. In this process, I learned that you have to be really patient with yourself--you're going to need time to get the steps. I also like to do a little homework. Go home and repeat the steps in your head, and if you have videos of the ballet, watch them over and over. Then, the next day, it doesn't feel new anymore. You already have it in your body, so you can continue working on new things.

 

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