Tonight at ABT: Marcelo Gomes' World Premiere

James Whiteside and Misty Copeland in AfterEffect, Photo by Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy ABT

As a dancer, Marcelo Gomes has it all—a magnetic stage presence, impeccable musicality, technique for days and world-renowned partnering skills. But the American Ballet Theatre star has also been gaining ground as a choreographer lately, creating works for Complexions Contemporary Ballet, galas and festivals. (He also choreographed Misty Copeland's famous Under Amour ad.) Tonight marks a major milestone in his choreographic career: His first full ballet for ABT, AfterEffect, has its world premiere at the David H. Koch Theater in New York.

Gomes, who was just announced a 2015 Dance Magazine Award winner, has created short works for ABT galas in the past, including the first movement of AfterEffect in 2013. This expanded version, set to Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence, includes a whopping 26 dancers and stars James Whiteside and Copeland (who has been something of a collaborator and muse for Gomes over the years). Fast-rising soloist Cassandra Trenary will perform the lead with Cory Stearns on Saturday afternoon. (You may have caught a glimpse of rehearsals during the World Ballet Day live-stream earlier this month.)

Gomes' new choreographic opportunity is a positive step for ABT, which has received criticism in the past for relying too heavily on guest stars and not developing its own dancers. With the recent promotion of Copeland and Stella Abrera, a talented roster of homegrown soloists and a 2016 Met season conspicuously light on guest artists, it looks like the company is making a serious effort to cultivate more from within.

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

Ballet Stars
Karolina Kuras, Courtesy NBoC

It's hard to imagine the National Ballet of Canada without ballerina Greta Hodgkinson. Yet this week NBoC announced that the longtime company star will take her final bow in March, as Marguerite in Sir Frederick Ashton's Marguerite and Armand.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

Keep reading... Show less
News
Alice Pennefather, Courtesy ROH

You ever just wish that Kenneth MacMillan's iconic production of Romeo and Juliet could have a beautiful love child with the 1968 film starring Olivia Hussey? (No, not Baz Luhrmann's version. We are purists here.)

Wish granted: Today, the trailer for a new film called Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words was released, featuring MacMillan's choreography and with what looks like all the cinematic glamour we could ever dream of:

Keep reading... Show less
Viral Videos

What do Diana Vishneva, Olga Smirnova, Kristina Shapran and Maria Khoreva all have in common? These women, among the most impressive talents to graduate from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in recent years, all studied under legendary professor Lyudmila Kovaleva. Kovaleva, a former dancer with the Kirov Ballet (now the Mariinsky), is beloved by her students and admired throughout the ballet world for her ability to pull individuality and artistry out of the dancers she trains. Like any great teacher, Kovaleva is remarkably generous with her wealth of knowledge; it seems perfect, then, that she appears as the Fairy of Generosity in this clip from a 1964 film of the Kirov's The Sleeping Beauty.

Keep reading... Show less