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Lucia Lacarra, formerly a principal with Bavarian State Ballet (Bayerisches Staatsballett), has such extreme flexibility that she almost looks like a rhythmic gymnast. It takes a true artist to tame such a facility and deliver an emotionally memorable performance. The Spanish ballerina never fails to do so.

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Waltz and Ohman. Photo by Davids/David Dormer via the Berliner.

Big changes are afoot in Germany's ballet scene, including director and dancer turnovers at two of the country's high profile companies.

Staatsballett Berlin

At Staatsballett Berlin, artistic director Nacho Duato will leave at the end of his contract, which expires in 2019. Duato has served as the company's artistic director for the past two years, but it hasn't been smooth sailing. He's faced some harsh criticism, and Staatsballett dancers went on strike over wage disputes under his leadership.

Duato has three years to plan his next move before co-directors Sasha Waltz and Johannes Öhman take over in 2019. Öhman has directed the Royal Swedish Ballet since 2011. Waltz currently leads and choreographs her own contemporary troupe, Sasha Waltz and Guests. She will share her time between the two companies. It's unclear what steps the Royal Swedish Ballet will take when its director assumes executive and administrative responsibilities in Berlin. Waltz's role will be more studio-oriented. She will set one of her works on the company annually and create three world premieres.

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