In Pointe's December 2012/January 2013 issue, three dancers looked back at the summer intensive teachers who helped inspire and inform their careers. Here, Tiler Peck remembers her own seminal summer teacher, as told to writer Joseph Carman.

 

My first summer course was at SAB in 2002 when I was 12 or 13. On the first day, Suki Schorer was on me about fixing my posture, she was on me about stretching and turning out my legs, she was on me constantly for the entire class. I was getting a little teary—I thought she had it in for me. Then after class, she told me she wanted to move me up a level.

 

There’s something about Suki, her pizzazz. There is such a liveliness about her. It makes you want to work just as hard to give it back to her. She's very hands-on. She especially worked with me on my port de bras. When you’re younger, you just want it to be correct. She said to me, “Move your elbows, make it more fluid.” She said it’s like when you use a plié to get somewhere. It’s the movement before the port de bras that’s important—to connect everything, to coordinate it and make it dance.

 

We also learned Balanchine works that summer, Concerto Barocco, variations from Agon. I found my musicality at the school. Now, as I’ve grown in the company, I can finesse my musicality and play with it. With any new performance I do, Suki is always there—like my first Allegro Brillante. I love hearing corrections from her and the stories she tells us about Mr. B.

 

Sometimes it’s hard for young dancers when you first go to a summer intensive. Remember that the advice and corrections are not to beat you down. Just get as much knowledge as you can gain. Try to hear everything and take it in. Don’t get discouraged.

 

I liked ballet, but I didn’t love it until I went to SAB that summer.

 

The Conversation
Ballet Stars
Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB

Your teacher at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Marcia Dale Weary, recently passed away. What impact did she have on you?

I feel deeply indebted to her. She shaped my life's course, and I know that were it not for her, I would not be living out my dream today. She led by example through her remarkable commitment to her work, as well as her genuine kindness and generosity.

You were a trainee with San Francisco Ballet. What was that experience like?

It was an exposure to different schools of thought. We were mostly in the full-lengths, and watching run-throughs of Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote was revolutionary for me. But I was young and far away from home. That transition was hard. My body started changing. It wanted to be fleshy. Biology is cruel in that way. I desperately wanted to fit in, but it wasn't meant to be.

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The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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Site Network
Left: Misa Kuranaga in The Veritginous Thrill of Exactitude. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy Boston Ballet. Right: Sasha Mukhamedov in Apollo. Altin Kaftira, Courtesy Dutch National Ballet.

San Francisco Ballet just announced some major news: longtime Boston Ballet star Misa Kuranaga will be joining the company as a principal dancer for the 2019-20 season, while Dutch National Ballet principal Sasha Mukhamedov has been hired as a soloist. They join a slew of newly promoted SFB principals and soloists, announced earlier this year.

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Ballet Stars
Xiao Nan Yu in company class. Aaron Vincent, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada.

On June 22, National Ballet of Canada principal Xiao Nan Yu will retire from the stage after 22 years with the company. Originally from Dalian, China, Yu studied at the Shen Yang School of Dance and the Beijing Dance Academy before coming to Canada's National Ballet School at age 17. She joined the National Ballet of Canada less than two years later, and was promoted to principal in 2001.

"She is a supreme dance actress with an innate ability to bring the audience into her world," says NBoC artistic director Karen Kain. "Nan has always brought such a calm confidence into the studio and has been a role model for so many dancers I will miss her generosity both inside the studio and out." We spoke with Yu as she prepared for her final week of performances. She opened up about her initial culture shock upon moving to Toronto, her thoughts on artistry and why she chose Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow as her final role.

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