Ballet Careers
Garry Corpuz and Wang Qingxin in an ad campaign for Hong Kong Ballet. Design Army and Dean Alexander, Courtesy HKB.

"Opportunities always come when you least expect them," says Septime Webre. In 2016, he'd left The Washington Ballet, after 17 years as artistic director, to focus on his choreography career. Halfway around the world in East Asia, Hong Kong Ballet was hiring a new director for its following season, and Webre's agent convinced him to submit his resumé. "I ended up on a call with leadership and the energy between us was great," says Webre.

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Viral Videos
Still Courtesy Design Army

Hong Kong Ballet is celebrating its 40th anniversary in style. Today, the company released the new phase of its yearlong ad campaign, which includes the below film, a Wes Anderson-esque romp through the city fusing ballet with pop culture, filled with ferry boats, pom pom-wielding grannies and dim sum served in hot pink containers.

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Ballet Training
Claire Wu (in pink tutu) with her fellow competitors at the Genée IBC in Hong Kong. Photo courtesy Wu.

My name is Claire Wu, and I'm a Dance major at Butler University. Earlier this month I went to Hong Kong to participate in the 2018 Genée International Ballet Competition, hosted by the Royal Academy of Dance. The Genée is for dancers who have received RAD training and passed their last vocational exam (Advanced Two) with the highest marks of a distinction. I received my RAD training at my home studio, Rachel's Ballet, in Fremont, California, where I was awarded the Solo Seal Award in 2016.

I had also attended the Genée in 2016 when it was held in Sydney, Australia, and I had such a great experience that I wanted to participate again. Unlike most competitions, the Genée has five days of classes and coaching before the semi-finals, which consist of a class onstage, a Dancer's Own solo and a classical variation. The contestants also learn a commissioned variation, which is performed by the finalists. Since the competition was far away, I applied for the Dame Darcy Bussell Genée Bursary, a scholarship to help cover the costs of the competition. I was one of the few competitors awarded one, and it was one of my ultimate deciding factors to go. Below is a journal of my time at the 2018 Genée.

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News
Genée IBC gold medalist Monet Hewitt of New Zealand. Photo by Keith Sin, Courtesy Royal Academy of Dance.

If you missed the Genée International Ballet Competition's live-streamed finals this weekend, we've got you covered. Last night, 17-year-old Joshua Green of Australia and 16-year-old Monet Hewitt of New Zealand were named this year's gold medalists in the men's and women's category, out of 14 finalists. Caitlin Garlick (Australia) and Basil James (United Kingdom) won silver medals, while Enoka Sato (Japan) and Jordan Yeuk Hay Chan (Hong Kong) took home bronze. Chan also won the Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award, and Green was given the Choreographic Award for Dancer's Own Variation.

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News

Boston Ballet might be the new United Nations. The company's 2017-2018 roster was announced this morning, and the 65 dancers are representative of 15 different nationalities. Which countries are present at this ballet roundtable? Albania, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Finland, France, Georgia, Italy, Japan, Paraguay, South Korea, Spain and the U.S.

The company boasts the addition of thirteen new dancers and nine promotions.


Who's new?

Our October/November 2016 cover star, Derek Dunn, is leaving Houston Ballet to join BB as a soloist.

Chrystyn FentroyRachel Neville Photography, Courtesy Boston Ballet

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Spigner in company class while on tour in New York City. "Culturally, how the dancers here think and work is very different from the West. You learn to respect that and take a little bit for yourself." —Jonathan Spigner

Photos by Kyle Froman for Pointe

As Hong Kong Ballet corps member Xia Jun rehearses his solo from Krzysztof Pastor's In Light and Shadow, a distinct Eastern flavor of movement exudes from the suppleness of his port de bras and the articulation of his à la seconde extension. The ballet master calls out corrections in Mandarin, and Swedish-born artistic director Madeleine Onne offers critiques in English.

The company, just hours away from its March debut at The Joyce Theater in New York City, is a reflection of the international diversity found in the cosmopolitan city of Hong Kong. In addition to full-length classical ballets, Onne—who was the artistic director of the Royal Swedish Ballet prior to heading Hong Kong Ballet—has brought in more Balanchine repertoire and contemporary works from Europe, as well as new commissions by Chinese choreographers. From its repertoire to its roster, Hong Kong Ballet is a mix of East and West. “The majority of the company is Chinese," says Onne, “but I like to spice it up with Western dancers, too."

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