Director’s Notes: Kicking Their Heels in Cow Town

Mills coaching Miki Kawamura and Alvin Tovstogray (photo by Amy Haley, courtesy OKCB)

Some might call it bravado. Others would say fightin’ spirit. When Robert Mills grabbed the reins of a struggling Ballet Oklahoma in 2008, the company was at a crossroads: To sink under a $400,000 deficit or to merge with Tulsa Ballet. “I wanted to show them what ballet could really do for this community,” saysMore »

Reverence: Southern Belle

This is your 14th season with the company. What advice would you give to your younger self?Pace yourself. You’ll miss a lot of knowledge if you’re focused on obtaining status. Be as present as possible. When you’re just seeking the next thing, you’re not in the moment. When you’re performing roles like Odette/Odile in SwanMore »

Director’s Notes: Storytelling in Music City

Nashville Ballet’s Paul Vasterling puts narrative and music at the forefront of the company’s focus. The dancers are fighting again, but Paul Vasterling is unfazed. He’s watching it unfold at the front of the stage, fingers to his chin like a man contemplating artwork. A punch to the gut, a kick to the backside. OneMore »

Director’s Notes: No Longer Vanilla

John McFall has made Atlanta Ballet an incubator for innovative choreography. In John McFall’s teenage mind, nothing equaled the enchantment of ballet. He remembers being cast as a swashbuckling supernumerary in Scheherazade when Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo visited his hometown of Kansas City. “I was leaping around the stage, sword in hand, swiping atMore »