“[Choreographing] is not something I see in my future – it’s not something I’m interested in, it’s just not everyone’s path. Just like I’m not interested in teaching or opening a school – it’s just not something I’ve ever been drawn to.”
“The 30-year-old Texan native known as ‘Frostine Shake’ blows most ballet stereotypes out the water. Shake might be a classically trained ballerina but she defies all traditional expectations.”
“People don’t know that it’s a ballet, but you can imagine it – because it’s all dark passion, love and landscape – that it sounds really interesting.”
“It’s delightful enough that this ad gives us time to savor Ferri in motion, with her liquid smoothness and undiminished grace. But the ad also puts forth a meaningful narrative about looking back at one’s youth, and realizing that now is even better.”
“Just before he turned 19, he tested positive for HIV, and his dance, ‘Lacrymosa,’ became a reaction to the 1980s AIDS crisis. Many dancers and artists around Stierle were dying from the disease, and as he worked on the ballet, he knew he would become sick too.”
“In the ballet world, pregnancy is no longer the secret that a dancer has to hide from the boss. It’s no longer a potential career-ender. But the question remains: How hard is it for a new mother to turn back into a ballerina? The experience is different for every dancer, but in the case of Maria Kowroski, the statuesque New York City Ballet principal, it’s been humbling.”
“Peter Martins, the ballet master in chief of New York City Ballet, loves to give his dancers happy surprises. On Tuesday evening, moments before the curtain rose on Hallelujah Junction, Mr. Martins’s brisk, galvanic work set to John Adams, he promoted Taylor Stanley, one of its leads, to principal dancer.”
“‘Ballet is like a push-pull between feeling and logic,’ [Alonzo] King says. ‘Every human being has both, and ballet is a balancing act between the two. If you get too much logic it defies what you might be feeling, and yet with too much feeling things become unbelievable.'”
“We got Nathalia Arja from Miami City ballet to put the Patriots’ monster of a man through some drills that are likely not in Bill Belichick’s repertoire: the plié; the arabesque; the thing where you jump and kick your legs together.”
“‘You’re not stretching your face enough’, explains Crystal Pite, patiently. She demonstrates with a lop-sided grimace that distorts her rather beautiful, open features into a kind of agitated question mark. It’s not the standard rehearsal note from a choreographer to their dancers, but the eight men and women in the studio mimic Pite’s expression as they dance, and an unsettling new energy comes into their bodies. You can feel a shift in the atmosphere of the room.”
The Joffrey Ballet’s Ashton Wheater on running the famous company and what he thinks about ballet audiences.
“You can see the dancers, watch them work their butts off, and have a good time. It’s a bonding experience for the dancers, too, because they get together and have a beer and hang out.”
“When you’re a young boy wanting to study ballet you’re already a kind of rebel, someone who is thinking outside the box, so you’re more likely to end up making work or running a company. Girls are less likely to be prized for being a maverick, they’re more likely to be encouraged to look and dance like everyone else – which means that a lot of the creative women will end up in contemporary dance.”
“Vail Dance Festival: ReMix NYC, with shows November 3–6, will feature many Vail regulars, including American Ballet Theatre’s Isabella Boylston (the festival’s artist in residence for 2016) and Herman Cornejo; New York City Ballet’s Sara Mearns, Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck; [and] tapper extraordinaire Michelle Dorrance.”
“In the rehearsal room, ominous props clutter the floor’s perimeter: an alarmingly incomplete cadaver lies on a table; Georgian-era surgical equipment is strewn here and there; the odd body part sits pickled in a jar.”
Dane Hurst, a star of the British contemporary company Rambert, bought the sprung dance floor from the company’s old studio when it moved, shipped it home to Port Elizabeth, and asked an architect to design a dance studio made out of shipping containers – where he’ll be teaching other young people from his home township professional-level dance skills.
Edward Watson of the Royal Ballet in London: “There’s one particular tw** who still writes, ‘Oh, he’s still there with his horrible ginger hair and his horrible pale skin’ and you just think, is it really relevant to talk about someone’s skin and hair in a review? I find that kind of ridiculous.”
“At the close of today’s press conference at La Scala to announce Mauro Bigonzetti’s 2016-2017 season, fifty or so company dancers arrived to protest at the repertoire proposed. … [They complain] that the season has ‘too little classical [ballet] and wasn’t in line with company’s tradition.'”
“When performing or dancing to music, entrainment allows the timing of upcoming beats to be predicted. A recent study on individual differences in rhythmic skill identified relationships between the strength of neural entrainment and the capacity to synchronise movements with musical rhythms.”
“Hoping to appear on The Ellen Show and music videos, the heavy-set performer says he is trying to ‘change the mind and shape of dancers’. The photographs regularly receive hundreds of likes and he has amassed thousands of followers.”
And the Vancouver-based company isn’t doing it only by commissioning and performing work created by women (which it does). For this company, and for the female choreographers working with it, the issue isn’t even worth discussing.
“‘I’d heard about his reputation, everyone in our world knew about it. People said he wasn’t very responsible, that he ran away. So at first I thought I would never dance with him.’ As Natalia Osipova glances at Sergei Polunin, sitting protectively beside her, the ballerina’s pale, guarded face brightens with sudden laughter – the dancer, with whom she swore never to share a stage is now the man with whom she’s currently sharing her life.”
“Watching a class in técnica cubana is heady: very familiar and then suddenly not, as torsos contracting in Graham style turn ultra-sinuous, ultra-African, or a standard ballet exercise swerves into the gestures of an Afro-Cuban god. Yet the alloy is coherent and potent. It’s a great, under-recognized invention that develops dancers of extraordinary strength with the agility to manage all of its wild twists.”
“Ms. Alonso likes to say that she will live to 200 and will still be running the company 100 years from now. She has never chosen a successor. Ask anyone involved with the Ballet Nacional what happens ‘after Alicia,’ and you get shrugs and sighs. Change must be coming but probably not while Ms. Alonso is in charge.”
“Dance is a great metaphor for pursuing your life and path to the fullest that requires discipline, passion, grace, and precision.”
At the beginning of April, Bocca suddenly announced that, for “personal reasons,” he was temporarily stepping down as artistic director of Uruguay’s National Ballet. This week, equally unexpectedly, he appeared at a gala to announce that he was back – with two new lieutenants: Sofía Sajac (interim director while he was away) as co-director and María Noel Bonino as ballet mistress. And it turns out, naturally, that there was some backstage discord involved. (in Spanish; Google Translate version here)
Gennadi Nedvigin: “I will be looking for a strong base in classical dance and, at the same time, the ability to free themselves into performing different styles. Not every dancer has that. It needs to be developed.”
“We’re right to view Copeland’s rise with awe, gratitude, and hope, but it’s also interesting to note that two of the the ceilings she’s breaking (by being a ballerina with breasts and muscles) have only recently been installed. It reminds me how quickly a newly introduced expectation can feel timeless; how strongly it can ossify into something that seems inevitable; how easily we accept that what we see in front of us is universal.”
“I watched, fascinated, as it got picked up and spread by Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Perez Hilton: 50 million views, 200 million, 300 million views on each site. Then it started getting posted by less famous sources, and I noticed my name was no longer on it, but advertisements were. I was soon contacted by a licensing company.”
“What had been a well-schooled but bland troupe in its last years under aging founder Mary Day woke up when Webre took over. … The Washington Ballet’s audience grew so much that the company regularly filled the Eisenhower Theater. Webre was developing a vigorous, outgoing style that drew attention from arts enthusiasts of all kinds.” Yet perhaps his greatest legacy, says Sarah Kaufman, got started in a wet basement.