Nicole Loeffler-Gladstone's blog

Have you heard? The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and National Ballet of Canada are teaming up for a truly epic day of behind-the-scenes access. October 1st is World Ballet Day. 

As if Wendy Whelan’s imminent retirement wasn’t a hard enough pill to swallow, news that Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Carla Körbes will retire in June 2015 makes this an even sadder year for ballet.

Körbes started her career at New York City Ballet, before being hired as a soloist at PNB in 2005. In 2006 she was promoted to principal. Körbes has been lauded for her dancing in Balanchine ballets, and has originated roles in ballets by Peter Martins, Benjamin Millepied, Christopher Wheeldon and Twyla Tharp among others. 

Recently retired Miami City Ballet dancer Ezra Hurwitz has found a second calling as a filmmaker. His latest is a peek into the life, or maybe the mind, of New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns.

 

In her book Apollo’s Angels, Jennifer Homans infamously announced that ballet is dying. Though the statement ruffled a lot of feathers in the ballet world, it’s not unreasonable to wonder what direction ballet will take in the 21st century.

 

Misty Copeland's curtain call after her debut (photo courtesy American Ballet Theatre)

 

Misty Copeland will dance her Odette/Odile debut in American Ballet Theatre’s Swan Lake on Wednesday, September 3, during the company’s tour to Brisbane, Australia.

 

Julie Diana in rehearsal for John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet

(photo by Pete Checchia)

 

On Thursday, August 21, the Joffrey Ballet will live-stream a rehearsal of Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake. Wheeldon will be in attendance to coach the dancers, while Joffrey artistic director Ashley Wheater will host and conduct interviews with the dancers during rehearsal breaks.

 

Andrew Bartee, a former Pacific Northwest Ballet company member and current dancer with Ballet BC, will premiere his latest work—Dirty Goods—as part of the Wolf Trap Foundation's "Face of America" series on August 27. The piece was commissioned for Wolf Trap Foundation, and utilizes filmed site specific performance in Olympic National Park, music by the Portland-based band The Chromatics and dancers from Pacific Northwest Ballet.

No matter how weird it gets, contemporary ballet is still ballet. Sure there are gradations—and yes, there’s the eventual hair-splitting difference between contemporary ballet and contemporary dance—but when a ballet company performs something “contemporary,” it’s likely that the piece will fit safely within a handful of stylistic guidelines.