News
Barak Ballet will perform E/SPACE at Joyce Ballet Festival this weekend. Photo David Friedman, Courtesy of Joyce Theater.

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


ABT Wraps Up Its Met Season with Whipped Cream

American Ballet Theatre's eight-week summer season at the Metropolitan Opera House, will wrap up this Saturday. From July 2-7, the company will perform Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream. This candy-coated surrealist ballet features wacky, intricate sets and costumes from Mark Ryden and tells the story of a boy in a Viennese pastry shop who overindulges and falls into a state of wild intoxication that takes him on a journey reminiscent of Act II of The Nutcracker. For a behind-the-scenes look, check out these backstage photos from the 2017 premiere. During the run, Arron Scott will make his debut as The Boy, and Gabe Stone Shayer will make his New York debut in the same role. Thomas Forster and Calvin Royal III will perform as Prince Coffee for the first time in New York.


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Ballet Stars
Chyrstyn Fentroy and Francis Lawrence in "Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux" with Dance Theatre of Harlem. Photo by Renata Pavam, Courtesy Fentroy.

Taking a lower rank at a new company can feel risky. But whether you're breaking out of your comfort zone, yearning for bigger challenges or finding a better company fit, you can make a successful transition. Here are three ballerinas whose recent moves have advanced their growth and artistry.


Fentroy at DTH. Photo by Rachel Neville, Courtesy Fentroy.

Chyrstyn Mariah Fentroy: Dance Theatre of Harlem to Boston Ballet

Although Dance Theatre of Harlem isn't a ranked company, Chyrstyn Mariah Fentroy spent much of her five years there dancing principal roles. She loved the touring, the repertoire and dancing beside her boyfriend, but she longed to try her luck at a larger company with more variety. And with DTH's mainly neoclassical focus, Fentroy felt her chances of dancing in a classical story ballet getting slim: "I wanted to do a full-length before it was too late."

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Ballet Stars
Lauren Fadeley in Balanchine's Walpurgisnacht Ballet. Photo by Daniel Azoulay, Courtesy Miami City Ballet.

Miami City Ballet principal soloist Lauren Fadeley uses company class, her home gym and the beach to stay strong.

Amped-up class: Since joining Miami City Ballet in 2016, Lauren Fadeley has found new challenges in company class. "It's more intense and aerobic than I'm used to," she says. Her approach: It's not a casual warm-up but a daily opportunity to practice everything correctly, so it's automatic onstage.

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News
Julia Cinquemani in Los Angeles Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty. Photo by Reed Hutchinson, Courtesy of Los Angeles Ballet.

Miami City Ballet just announced their official roster for the 2017-18 season, including some exciting additions to and promotions within the company. The new season, which starts on Oct. 20 in Miami, consists of a 53-member roster that was made complete thanks to six new dancers and the return of former longtime MCB dancer Katia Carranza.

Carranza will be returning to the rank of principal, a spot that she previously held from 2004 until 2007 before joining Ballet de Monterrey as a principal dancer. Other promotions for the upcoming season include Jennifer Lauren to principal, Lauren Fadeley to principal soloist and Ashley Knox to soloist.

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Ballet dancers are nothing if not enterprising, and Rebecca King is certainly one of the most ambitious. The Miami City Ballet corps member has long been something of a social media maven—she helped coordinate an Instagram campaign for MCB and even started her own social media management company. She's also contributed regularly to her popular blog, Tendus Under a Palm Tree, since 2010. This week, King and fellow MCB corps member Michael Sean Breeden have started a new media venture: podcasting. Their self-produced show, “Conversations on Dance" (available on King's blog and on iTunes), will include discussions on training, technique and choreography, as well as interviews with other professional dancers. This week's timely topic: summer intensives.

King and Breeden join an increasing number of dancers taking to the virtual airwaves, including MCB soloist Lauren Fadeley, whose show, “ReDiscovering the Dream," chronicles her recent career move and new life in Miami. American Ballet Theatre principal James Whiteside, New York City Ballet principal Megan Fairchild and advice guru Kathryn Morgan have also started hosting their own podcasts on Premier Dance Network. So get your headphones ready. Dancers on dancing? Yes, please!

Fadeley in Pennsylvania Ballet's Giselle. Photo by Aleksander Iziliaev, Courtesy MCB.

In April, longtime Pennsylvania Ballet principal Lauren Fadeley made a surprising announcement: She was leaving the company to join Miami City Ballet as a soloist. Pointe spoke with Fadeley during her first rehearsals in the Sunshine State.

How did you decide on Miami City Ballet?

I grew up in Orlando, so I'd always been really interested in MCB--I actually auditioned here over 10 years ago. When I emailed Lourdes Lopez, she invited me to come for at least three days to get a sense of the company. The process was great: It felt like I was taking class with my friends as opposed to auditioning.

What have you been rehearsing?

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(Photo by Candice DeTore)

 

Starting October 1, the ballet community will have a new and intriguing web series to watch. Barry Kerollis—a former dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet and Houston Ballet, and a current freelancer—is piloting Core-ography, a project that combines choreography and interviews. Kerollis' intention is to film and speak with ballet dancers about some of their most significant life challenges, and then spend a week with each one, developing choreography that reflects their personal story. The list includes Bridgett Zehr (former English National Ballet principal), Brooklyn Mack (Washington Ballet), Cervilio Amador (Cincinnati Ballet principal), John Lam (Boston Ballet principal), Maria Chapman (Pacific Northwest Ballet principal), Andrew Brader (Complexions), Kiara Felder (Atlanta Ballet) and four more dancers, to be determined.

The first episode, featuring Pennsylvania Ballet principal Lauren Fadeley, will premiere on October 1. Given the project's premise, I'm excited to see the unique movement that Kerollis will create on each dancer to reflect his or her singular life story. If all goes well, Kerollis may end up with a goldmine of choreographic ideas.

Photo by Alexander Iziliaev for Pointe

Even from across the studio, you can't miss Lauren Fadeley's dance bag. That's because her spiky massage roller is always poking out from the top. "It's called a RumbleRoller, and it's pretty intense," says the Pennsylvania Ballet principal. "I bring it with me everywhere, even on guestings, and it's small enough to fit in my bag." In addition, she carries a hard, medium-sized ball to release that hard-to-reach psoas muscle. "It's not an official psoas ball, though—I bought it at the dollar store."

She also keeps a variety of vitamins, such as Emergen-C packets and B-12 gummies, to boost her immune system and energy levels when needed, as well as a bottle of SportLegs capsules (which contain lactate compounds of calcium and magnesium). "I found it in a bike store," says Fadeley, who is an active cyclist in her spare time. "It helps with muscle cramping and I thought, 'This can work for ballet, too!' I take them before performances."

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This interview first appeared in the June 5 Pointe e-newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, click here.


Pennsylvania Ballet's "Forsythe & Kyliàn" program, which opens next week, includes the company premieres of William Forsythe's Artifact Suite and Jiří Kylián's Forgotten Land--and principal Lauren Fadeley will be dancing in both. Pointe's e-news talked to Fadeley about the two works' different challenges.

This is your first time dancing Kyliàn. How would you describe his style?  
I wouldn't call it simple, but there's no extra frou frou to it. It's pure choreography, very grounded, and frequently dramatic. It feels mature.

You've danced Forsythe's In the middle, somewhat elevated and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude. How is Artifact Suite like and unlike those works?  
Bill was actually here working with us last week, and the way he described it is that works like In the middle are essentially ballet-like, whereas Artifact Suite is aggressively abstract and contemporary. I mean, the full-length Artifact involves text and spoken word and lots of props--it's pretty out there.

What was working with Forsythe like?
It was incredible! He even tweaked a few things in Artifact for me personally, and that was a huge rush. The changes went down in the books, too--the next time someone dances it, that's the way it'll be.

Going from Forgotten Land to Artifact Suite is a pretty big shift.
This morning we had Artifact rehearsal, and this afternoon it was back to Forgotten Land, which is a different world--that definitely challenges you. But it also helps me feel like a more complete dancer. We've been rehearsing The Four Temperaments recently too, because we're about to do it at Ballet Across America. When you get to do Kyliàn and Forsythe and Balanchine all in the same week, it's hard to complain.

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