Blogs

Julia Ann Conway

WBC Pre-Professional Gold medalist Julia Anne Conway. All photos by Siggul/Visual Arts Masters

As you know, our June/July issue features three fantastic dancers that are climbing the ranks: Ashley Murphy, Misty Copeland and Ebony Williams. Their stories about facing adversity in ballet are absolutely inspirational. (If you haven't read them yet, well, what are you waiting for?)

 

Margot Fonteyn’s name ranks among the greatest artists of the 20th century. In an era wrought with shifts in literature, philosophy and dance, she captured audiences through her dancing in seemingly tangible ways. Here, it all begins within the first few seconds of this footage of the “Rose Adagio” from 1959—we can’t take our eyes off her. 

 

Last night, I saw American Ballet Theatre in Frederick Ashton's Cinderella, a ballet that entered the company's rep just this season. Of course, you're at the theater to see the magical story of Cinderella and her prince unfold. And what magic it was! Julie Kent played an endearing, doe-eyed Cinderella and Marcelo Gomes was princely, as always. But in Ashton's version, the evil stepsisters—men dressed to the nines in corsets and wigs—dare I say it, stole the show.

 

Six dancers from the National Ballet of Cuba recently arrived in Miami after defecting while their company was on tour in Puerto Rico. The dancers have been taken under the wing of Pedro Pablo Peña, the director of Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami. Peña is Cuban and has long supported defecting ballet dancers by featuring them in his company and helping them find work in the United States.

Many of us have long distanced ourselves from—or were too young to experience—the terror of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s and how it affected the dance community. TEST, a film by former Ballet Frankfurt dancer Chris Mason Johnson, brings us back to when the virus was first emerging and fear was at its greatest. Frankie, played by LEVYdance's associate artistic director Scott Marlowe, is apprenticing with a contemporary dance company in San Francisco, where he meets love interest Todd, played by Broadway vet Matthew Risch.

International ballet competitions are designed to showcase a dancer’s talent and performance skill—which also happen to be the two aims of Victor Gsovsky’s Grand Pas Classique. The female variation consists of steps that align with the music, supporting dancers through difficult moves and reinforcing their musicality. In 2001, Sara Mearns competed in Youth America Grand Prix with this virtuosic variation. Now a principal with New York City Ballet, she had already begun to develop the fiery conviction that has become the trademark to her dancing. 

 

This week, the Australian Ballet's Kevin Jackson will make his debut with American Ballet Theatre, dancing the familiar role of Des Grieux in Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Manon. Mr. Jackson's performance marks only the second time that a dancer from the Australian Ballet has guested with American Ballet Theatre. With his ABT debut around the corner (you can catch him on June 4th and June 6th), Mr. Jackson spoke to Pointe about interpreting the role of Des Grieux, partnering Xiomara Reyes, and the modern significance of the story ballet.