YoungArts 2019 finalist Kali Kleiman in rehearsal Katherine Bollens, Courtesy YoungArts.

Watch the 2019 YoungArts Dance Performance Live Stream Tonight (and Meet the Ballet Finalists)

Let the ballet live streams continue! Last week we let you know that Youth American Grand Prix is streaming its regional semi-finals each weekend. Tonight, National YoungArts is sharing its finalists' dance performance.

The National YoungArts Foundation seeks out high school aged artists from around the country and gives them monetary awards, mentorship opportunities and the chance to participate in regional workshops. Artists span across 10 disciplines ranging from music to writing to visual art to dance. The finalists from each region are invited to the annual National YoungArts Week, an all-expenses-paid experience including master classes, workshops and performances with top artists (this year the dance faculty includes former New York City Ballet star Wendy Whelan). Nominations for the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts will also be made from this group.


Tonight's performance starts at 8 pm EST and features 22 dancers focused on contemporary, tap, choreography, classical Indian dance, and, of course, ballet. The four ballet finalists are Kenneth Allen, Kali Kleiman, Bridget Lee and Lily Turner; you can read more about them below. These young dancers are certainly in good company. Former YoungArts finalists include Royal Ballet principal Sarah Lamb, English National Ballet principal Jeffrey Cirio and American Ballet Theatre soloist Cassandra Trenary, among many others.

If you're between the ages of 15-18, you might want to consider applying for next year. In the meantime, you can watch the 2019 finalists perform here.

Kenneth Allen

Katherine Bollens, Courtesy YoungArts

Age: 17

Hometown: Centennial, Colorado

Training: Next Generation Ballet in Tampa, Florida

In addition to his full-time training, Allen has attended summer intensives at the Royal Ballet School, Paris Opéra Ballet School, School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and Pacific Northwest Ballet. He's also interested in choreography and dance history.

Kali Kleiman

Katherine Bollens, Courtesy YoungArts

Age: 15

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Training: The Dallas Conservatory

Kleiman is no stranger to competitions; she's a five-time classical solo finalist at Youth American Grand Prix and in 2017 won the silver medal at the World Ballet Competition. You might also recognize Kleiman for her work as a Grishko pointe shoe ambassador and Dancewear Solutions model.

Bridget Lee

Katherine Bollens, Courtesy YoungArts

Age: 18

Hometown: North Canton, Ohio

Training: Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division

Lee earned her spot at RWB's school through her participation in YAGP, and for the past two years as won The Prince Edward Award, the school's top honor. Last year she was a participant in the Prix de Lausanne's first Partner School Choreographic Project.

Lily Turner

Age: 15

Hometown: Costa Mesa, California

Training: Southland Ballet Academy

Turner is an International Scholar of the Royal Ballet School, which allows her to train in London for a few weeks each year. Last year she won the Natalia Makarova Award for Artistry at YAGP, and she performs regularly with Festival Ballet Theatre.

Note: Lily Turner won't be performing in tonight's performance due to illness.

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Pointe caught up with Morgan to talk about her recent announcement.

Victoria Morgan is shown from the side standing on stage right, turning to smile at a line of costumed dancers to her left during bows. She wears a patterned green dress with chunky green high heels and holds a red rose in her hand.

Peter Mueller, Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet

Why leave Cincinnati Ballet now?

It's been an amazing run and I have seen it all. I am not sure where I would go from here. I also feel there is a required stimulus and infusion of new ideas and energy that always needs to be a part of a growing, evolving and exciting arts organization.

What made you happiest at Cincinnati Ballet?

The people, from the devotion of patrons and donors to learning from and feeling the pride in work from the staff. It has also been so satisfying for me to choreograph on and watch so many dancers evolve in their dance careers and lives.

Were there things you wanted to do for the company that you weren't able to?

There were other collaborations I wanted us to explore and choreographers I wanted us to work with. It takes quite an investment to make those happen.

Your legacy includes actively creating opportunities for female choreographers. What motivated that?

I started realizing, in a profound way, the gender inequities in our art form. Because I was in a leadership position, I thought I could do something about this and try to get to a 50-50 balance of male and female choreographers. It took a little time to find women to step forward, but it happened. Now there are many more prominent female choreographers, including our resident choreographer Jennifer Archibald, and I am proud of that.

If you could handpick your successor, what qualities would you look for?

Somebody creative, charged up, and who can be visionary. Someone who has had a high-level experience in our art form. A leader who is demanding but also kind and supportive, and who opens doors to find new ideas while still embracing Cincinnati Ballet's philosophies.

What do you feel will be one of the biggest challenges for the new artistic director?

The important cause of DEIA (diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility). Whoever steps into that position has to have awareness of the culture of today's conversation.

Do you plan to keep choreographing?

I am not being proactive about it, but if the opportunity presents itself, it would be fun.

What's next?

I feel my next calling is bringing movement to the biggest segment of our population, baby boomers. I want to be part of an initiative that makes moving and wellness enjoyable and enlivens people.

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