Blogs

By Miami City Ballet's Sara Esty

 

The mood is a little tense as Alexei Ratmansky peeks in the window during our warm-up barre. The dancers exchange smiles, as if to agree silently to our excitement. After class, we are all introduced to Mr. Ratmansky, and settle in for a talk. He greets us warmly, and at once all our nerves seem to disappear.

Since my last blog about New York City Ballet's corps de ballet in Le Tombeau de Couperin, I've been thinking a lot about young dancers, and how they transform from students into professionals.

The National Ballet of Canada is offering its very own summer intensive for the first time this year. It runs July 4 through 15. Intermediate to advanced ballet students ages 14 to 18 are invited to the company's Toronto studios to train with professional artists from the National Ballet and other companies. Dancers will take classes in ballet, pointe, repertoire, jazz and hip hop every day from 9 am to 3 pm. The 10-day course costs $750. For more details, see national.ballet.ca.

Alina Cojocaru has no tendons—I am convinced of it! Legs aren't supposed to float up that high quite that easily. It's kind of absurd. Just like her supernatural sense of balance. Seriously, I'm pretty sure she could drink an entire cup of coffee while hanging out on pointe in arabesque.

 

Well, this is going to make for one awesome "first dance:" At American Ballet Theatre's gala on Monday night, Ethan Stiefel proposed to Gillian Murphy backstage right after she finished performing Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. And...she said yes! The couple has been dating for over a decade after a close friendship blossomed into something more. 

 

Congrats you two!

I went to see NYCB again on Saturday, and was treated to another performance of Balanchine's Le Tombeau de Couperin, which is a vehicle for the company's very young, very hungry corps de ballet.  I saw this piece for the first time a couple of weeks ago (on the same program as Episodes), and I enjoyed it just as much.  It's Balanchine's architectural sensibility at its finest--marvelously kaleidoscopic patterns emerge and dissolve constantly, as the eight men and eight women constantly rearran

Last month, severe storms ripped through the South, leaving dozens dead and an estimated 10,000 people in need of a place to live. Alabama was one of the states hit the hardest. To help out their neighbors in need, Huntsville Ballet Company will present two special encore performances of Stars and Stripes on May 31 and June 1 at VBC Concert Hall in Huntsville, AL. Both shows are completely free to the public. Company members are asking for donations to help families affected by the tornadoes and will be collecting non-perishable food items at the theater.

Calling all choreographers! You can win $15,000 towards your own show in NYC. All you've got to do is enter a clip of your choreography in the Capezio A.C.E. Award contest on dancemedia.com by the end of this week. Fifteen finalists will be invited to perform at the Dance Teacher Summit in New York on July 30, where one winner and two runners up will be selected by a panel of esteemed judges. Submit your video here!

For the first time, the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in the Arts is looking for dance artists. This annual award for young foreign-born artists has previously focused on filmmakers, culinary artists and writers. But this year, they're inviting dancers, choreographers, artistic directors and former dancers who teach to apply for the $25,000 prize. (Four finalists will also receive $5,000 each.) Applicants can be from any dance genre. The only requirements are that they must have been board abroad, permanently reside in the U.S. and be no more than 35 years old as of December 31, 2011.