The recession is hitting the ballet world hard. Faced with significant shortfalls, New York City Ballet, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Ballet Florida and Miami City Ballet have been forced to cut dancers from their ranks. Eleven NYCB, nine NBT and nine BF members will not be returning next season, and eight MCB dancers, fresh from the company’s triumphant first NYC season, also discovered that their contracts would not be renewed. American Ballet Theatre’s dancers have accepted a proposal eliminating pension contributions and vacation pay in 2009, but the plan allows the company to retain all 86 of them. There’s happier news at Texas Ballet Theater, which was on the verge of folding last year. The company has made such a strong recovery that they plan to add three dancers to their roster next season and to extend the length of their dancer contracts by three weeks. — MF
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
Carla Fracci, a former principal dancer of La Scala Ballet in Milan, is among the rare class of ballerinas who continued to perform into her 50s and beyond. Romantic ballets were her calling card throughout her career. In 1987, when Fracci was 51, she was featured in a television special, dancing reconstructed 19th-century ballets in the style of historical ballerinas. In this clip of La Esmeralda from the program, Fracci and her partner Stephen Jefferies, a former principal at The Royal Ballet, deliver an extraordinary performance, capturing the verve and spirit of their characters.