After the abrupt departure of artistic director Christopher Stowell last month, the fate of Oregon Ballet Theatre seemed up in the air. But the picture's looking brighter already. Anne Mueller, who was the company's star dancer until her retirement in 2011, has taken over as interim artistic director through the end of the 2013 season. Over the past year, she's worked as OBT's director of artistic operations, splitting her time between setting repertoire and working in a behind the scenes capacity on production, budgeting and communications, a position that's likely to have helped prepare her for the pressing tasks ahead. Meanwhile, OBT has set up a search committee to find the company's next artistic and executive directors; the team includes OBT dancers, trustees, community leaders and local dance directors such as BodyVox's Jamey Hampton. For more, see OBT.org.
Bunheads tuning in to the season premiere of ABC's "The Bachelor" on January 4 may have recognized a familiar face: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Alicia Mae Holloway, literally bourréeing out of a limousine to greet bachelor Matt James. While Holloway unfortunately didn't get a rose that night, she did thoroughly enjoy being the long-running reality franchise's first professional-ballerina contestant, as she told Pointe in a recent Zoom call.
Alicia Mae Holloway
Renee Choi, Courtesy Holloway
Gabe Stone Shayer, American Ballet Theatre's newest soloist, has long been a standout onstage. But the 27-year-old dancer—the first African-American male to graduate from Russia's Bolshoi Ballet Academy—is also branching out into choreography and spearheading a flurry of creative projects. Shayer has big ideas for ballet's future. "I want to be the person who facilitates the idea of possibility in this historically exclusive world," he told us in our December/January digital cover story. "And I want to present the possibility of success through my own story."
Now you have a chance to ask Shayer about his training and career, his advice on navigating a path in ballet, his recent work with Alicia Keys, his thoughts on diversity in dance and more. Click here to register for free with your questions. Then tune in for an exclusive conversation and Q&A with Gabe Stone Shayer on Thursday, January 21, at 7 pm Eastern.