Natalia Osipova Never Thought She’d Dance At The Royal Ballet – Here’s How She Got There


“I never associated myself with that troupe, which has its own, clearly expressed characteristic, its own style. I didn’t think of experimenting with that repertoire. I thought that I would never dance English ballets, that they don’t suit me! But two years ago Kevin O’Hara, the director of the Royal Ballet, invited me to dance Swan Lake.”

The Zen Master Of Dance In New York

zen master

“Even in the depths of summer, when New York theaters close up shop and dance companies go on break or on tour, the ballet teacher Zvi Gotheiner keeps going to work, though he may not call it that. And dancers keep flocking to work with him.”

A New National Center For Choreography (But You Can’t See It)


“The importance of the center – a project spearheaded by DanceCleveland and funded by a five-year, $5 million pledge from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation – is difficult to convey, given that it’s essentially an abstraction. Even when it’s fully up and running, the center, a standalone nonprofit, will basically amount to a network, a collection of diverse regional resources for choreographers to access as they conceive and create new dance.”

Misty Copeland On What It Took To Get Where She Is


“I didn’t know if another black woman would be coming behind me and be given the same opportunities… That’s why I danced through a severe injury with ‘Firebird’ because I felt, had I not done that role and not done a really good job, that I would be given the opportunity again,” she said, recalling her brutal performance in which she danced the title role while enduring a nearly career-ending foot injury in the Stravinsky ballet from which she titled her children’s book.

Bolshoi Ballet Won’t Renew Contract Of Director Who Suffered Acid Attack


“Sergei Filin, the Bolshoi Ballet artistic director whose sight was maimed two years ago by an acid attack organized by a disgruntled dancer, will lose his job when his contract expires next spring. Bolshoi Theatre chief Vladimir Urin announced yesterday in Moscow that he is abolishing Filin’s position and replacing it with a more management-focused director, indicating that artistic decision-making is to be taken ‘jointly’ with the theatre directorate.”

Bringing Ballet To Farms In (Where Else?) Vermont

ballet farms

“[Charles] Pregger, a ballet teacher, said Farm to Ballet was born after he led outdoor classes at Oakledge Park in Burlington. He saw that alfresco ballet was possible and joked that he’d like to do something like a flash-mob-styled performance halfway up Mount Philo. That lighthearted thought became a more meaningful and concrete plan to bring dance to Vermont farms.”

Violette Verdy On What Makes A Great Dancer


A musical dancer helps you to see and feel the music in your own body; a dancer with a superior musicality goes even further, playing against the music, entering into a conversation with it, bending it to her own wishes. This is the kind of dancer Verdy was. Such musicality is innate.

‘I Would Have Jumped Off A Roof For Mao’: Li Cunxin, ‘Mao’s Last Dancer’, From The Cultural Revolution To The 21st-Century West


“Forced into ballet as a child in Mao’s China, Li Cunxin defected to the US and had to work as a stockbroker to support his family back home. But he never quit dancing. As he brings the Queensland Ballet to Britain, he talks about his traumas and triumphs – and shock at seeing people take their privileged lives for granted.”

The “Ballet Body”? I’m Sooo Over It


“I studied classical ballet for sixteen years. I was never a prodigy, but I was good enough to seriously consider it a career option. I genuinely love ballet in all its forms. And I despise the “ballet body” fitness trend.”

How Poor Are Most Dancers? This Poor

poor dancers

“More than half of professional dancers [in Britain] earn less than £5,000 a year from their performance work, according to a new survey. The statistics also show that around 50% of dancers’ jobs pay less than the minimum wage, and that 70% of dancers have performed in ‘unsuitable work environments’ in the past 12 months.”

Falling Back In Love With City Ballet


“These extraordinary dancers have breathed new life into Balanchine’s legacy. And suddenly, once again, as in the old days, I want to follow what they’re up to.”

The Campaign To Keep Ballet Going


“After Ms. Homans’s book was published, her assessment burned through the industry, sparking arguments and some resentment. It also caught the attention of the Mellon Foundation, which began a series of conversations with Ms. Homans about what could be done to change things. The idea of actively drawing in new thinkers won because ballet, in its very nature, can be cloistered.”

Vogueing: Still Dominant In New York


“While the ball honors vogueing’s pioneers, it also reflects the ways that the dance has evolved stylistically and demographically: its global expansion; the increasing participation of women; and a shift to bolder, more acrobatic dancing.”

Pole Dancing Is Becoming A Serious Art Form (If These Folks Have Anything To Say About It)

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“A pole, like most props on a dance stage, doesn’t mean much on its own. It stands ready and waiting for the bounds of a choreographer’s imagination, a means to provide a vertical space and fresh vocabulary for a story spelled out in movements. In this capacity, pole dance as an abstract art form is taking shape, growing in a starkly contrasting direction from its place in strip clubs and competitions.”

What Will Restored U.S.-Cuba Relations Mean For Ballet?


“Cuban dancers and the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, founded by Alicia Alonso, are known all over the world. … Here & Now’‘s Meghna Chakrabarti spoke with José Manuel Carreño, a Cuban-born former principal dancer with the American Ballet Theater, who is now artistic director of Silicon Valley Ballet.” (audio)

Jennifer Homans Was Wrong: Ballet’s Not Dying, It’s Being Rejuvenated – And Here’s Why


“It’s an exciting time for the art form, with new works and artists emerging: there is plenty to look forward to. It’s very different to the sense of gloom I remember when I started watching in the Nineties.” Zoë Anderson has a theory about why ballet was in a funk 20 years ago (like so much else in the world, it’s about the ’60s) and why things seem so much more promising today.

Three Black Female Dance Legends Sitting Around Talking


“Why is [Misty Copeland’s] breakthrough possible now, and what does this civil rights triumph mean for the future of ballet’s performers and its audience? Copeland and … Raven Wilkinson and Carmen de Lavallade joined us live on stage for a conversation on July 17, moderated by writer and producer Susan Fales-Hill.” (video)