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Jane Cracovaner and Elijah Laurant with MOVETHECOMPANY, which will perform at the Joyce Ballet Festival this week. Photo Craig Foster, Courtesy Joyce Theater.

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


The Joyce Ballet Festival Is Back

New York City's Joyce Theater kicks off its five-company Ballet Festival June 26-July 7. Showcasing a variety of styles including neoclassical and contemporary dance, the festival prides itself on featuring smaller companies. Below, check out the three companies opening this week. (Feeling festive? Enter our giveaway to win tickets to the Ashley Bouder Project at the Joyce on July 5.)

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Hope Muir in the Charlotte Ballet studios. Photo by Jeff Cravotta, Courtesy Charlotte Ballet.

When Hope Muir was asked to apply to be Charlotte Ballet's new artistic director, the Scottish Ballet assistant artistic director flew stateside to North Carolina for some sneaky reconnaissance. After scouting out the city and the company, Muir gathered it would be a good fit. She worked as artistic advisor for Charlotte Ballet last season, but officially took over her new post on July 1.

While Muir's vision for the company emphasizes new commissions and collaborations, she's committed to building on the legacy of former director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. Famed Balanchine dancer Patricia McBride is staying on as associate artistic director. "I have a firm belief in the classical training and will continue to produce works on pointe and with storytelling," says Muir, formerly a dancer with English National Ballet, among other companies. "I'm just coming at it with a different experience and skill set, and am hoping to introduce new ways of doing things."

Muir with Charlotte Ballet dancers. Photo by Justin Driscoll, Courtesy Charlotte Ballet.

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Fresh off the heels of Aurélie Dupont's appointment as artistic director at the Paris Opéra Ballet, and Julie Kent's appointment to the same position at The Washington Ballet, further changes are hitting the ballet world.

This morning Johan Kobborg, international star and director of the National Ballet of Romania, tweeted that his name had been removed from the company's web page listing artistic staff. It's now, strangely, listed under "Artists"—the equivalent of the corps de ballet.

 

Indeed, the only name currently listed for company management is interim general manager Tiberiu-Ionuț Soare. As of yesterday, Kobborg was two years into a four-year contract and had instigated upgrades to the company's repertoire and physical infrastructure. In December, 2015, Kobborg and his on- and offstage partner, the iconic Romanian ballerina Alina Cojucaru, organized a gala to raise awareness for the company. Neither the company nor Kobborg have yet responded to inquiries about the situation.

Additionally Ballet Nacional Sodre artistic director and former American Ballet Theatre star Julio Bocca is taking an undefined leave of absence from the company. In a statement, he wrote that it was "not a goodbye, but a see-you-later." Sofía Sajac, who Bocca describes as his "right hand," will step into the leadership position during his absence. Reasons for his leave aren't clear. Argentine newspaper La Nación reported that Bocca had faced bureaucratic obstacles, including union protests (follow the link for reporting in Spanish).

In happier news, Scottish Ballet assistant artistic director Hope Muir has been selected as Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux's successor at Charlotte Ballet. Her tenure begins in July, 2017.

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

 

 

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