Photo via NYC Dance Project.

Watch Lauren Lovette Open Up About Being a Choreographer

There are many reasons we love New York City Ballet principal Lauren Lovette: She exudes joy, her dancing is pristine and she constantly pursues new adventures and ideas, whether that means dancing in her colleague Troy Schumacher's BalletCollective, or working on her own art projects.

Recently, Lovette premiered her first choreographic work for the main company during NYCB's 2016 fall gala. She was in good company, sharing the bill with fellow dancer Peter Walker, international choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and NYCB resident choreographer Justin Peck. And though Walker's work was also untested, Lovette received extra attention (and extra scrutiny) due to the fact that NYCB rarely commissions women choreographers.

Responses to her ballet, For Clara, were mixed, but in this video profile by CNN it's clear that Lovette has prepared herself for any outcome. The profile was filmed during her creation process and she talks about the vulnerabilities that come with leadership and the risks associated with transitioning from dancer to choreographer (though Lovette is by no means hanging up her pointe shoes permanently!). Despite the pressure, Lovette's positivity continues to shine through, as we see her repeatedly running over to hug her dancers. Watch it here.

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Vikki Sloviter

Sydney Dolan Takes Center Stage at Pennsylvania Ballet

This is Pointe's Summer 2020 cover story. You can subscribe to the magazine here, or click here to purchase this issue.

Just days before the world shuttered under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic, and the curtain came down indefinitely on dance companies everywhere, Pennsylvania Ballet soloist Sydney Dolan debuted Gamzatti in La Bayadère with captivating ease. Her jumps soared, her technique was sound, and her cheeky smile paired with exquisite port de bras was beguiling. Though she didn't know the company would soon cancel the remainder of its season, her beautiful performance acted as a kind of send-off into the unknown.

Dolan's career could be described in one word: charmed. At just 19 years old, she's flown through the ranks at PAB, debuted a long list of roles, won a Princess Grace Award and been named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch." Yet it's her challenges that have shaped not only her training but her outlook, giving her a solid foundation for becoming one of Pennsylvania Ballet's rising stars.

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VAM/Siggul, Courtesy YAGP

YAGP Has Announced the Winners of the 2020 Pas De Deux Virtual Competition

Last weekend, Youth America Grand Prix took to the internet, hosting its first virtual pas de deux competition. Over the course of three days, YAGP streamed videos from its regional events' highest-ranked competitors for a panel of esteemed judges. And, drum roll please... YAGP has just announced the winners, spanning three categories: Senior Classical, Junior Classical and Contemporary.

You can watch the full virtual awards ceremony, hosted by YAGP director of external affairs Sergey Gordeev, below, or scroll down for the list of winners. And if you're missing the thrill of competition, don't fear: Gordeev announced that registration for the 2021 season will open on July 10, with both in-person and virtual options available.

Congratulations to all!

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Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy ABT

Defining and Refining Musicality: How to Tune In and Develop Your Artistic Voice

Ask a hundred people what musicality is, and you're likely to get a hundred different answers. "Musicality is where an artist's personality shines brightest," says Smuin Contemporary Ballet member Ben Needham-Wood. For American Ballet Theatre soloist Skylar Brandt, "it's what distinguishes one dancer from another. It helps me express myself more vividly and emotionally."

Teachers encourage it, directors seek it out and dancers who possess it bring choreography to life in compelling ways. But what exactly is musicality, and how can dancers get more of it?

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