Company Life: Partner Trouble

When former New York City Ballet principal Jonathan Stafford was a young corps member, he remembers taking a big gulp when he was first cast to partner a principal. “I was not strong enough, and she decided after dress rehearsal that I wasn’t ready,” he says. “So the artistic staff brought back her previous partner.”More »

Director’s Notes: Grand Rapids Renaissance

In four short years, Patricia Barker has rebuilt Grand Rapids Ballet’s repertoire and reinvigorated the company.   Underneath Grand Rapids Ballet artistic director Patricia Barker’s million-watt smile lies an unyielding determination to realize her artistic visions. So when friend Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, unexpectedly died before he could introduce herMore »

Company Life: Auditions on Your Home Turf

Auditions are an unnerving fact of life for dancers—and can be especially unsettling when they’re done in the comfort of your own company. When visiting choreographers and répétiteurs come to town, they prefer to have a day or two to work with the company before making their casting decisions. The good news is that whenMore »

Director’s Notes: From the Ground Up

Stoner Winslett’s 30-plus-year tenure brings solidarity to this regional gem. In 1980, just months after graduating from Smith College, Stoner Winslett attended a performance by Richmond Ballet. Though it was then just a student company, with a modest budget of $164,000, they were performing in a large venue, with the Richmond Symphony in the pit.More »

Reverence: Star of St. Petersburg

You started out in gymnastics—did it have an effect on your dancing?It helps immensely. My father was a gymnastics coach, and I think that if my daughter wanted to become a dancer, I would send her to gymnastics classes first, and only after that to ballet. Gymnastics builds character and coordination. It gives you aMore »

Company Life: The Elements of Style

If you’re a member of a repertory company, tight rehearsal timelines are often a fact of life. You might have only a few weeks to memorize and master a piece before you take the stage. In that time, you’ll need to absorb not only the steps but also the choreographer’s particular style—the qualities and quirksMore »

Director’s Notes: Double Duty

Edwaard Liang continues BalletMet’s history of directors who choreograph.   Newly appointed BalletMet Columbus artistic director Edwaard Liang says he didn’t know he wanted the position until it fell into his lap. The 39-year-old internationally known choreographer had just returned from creating a work for Bolshoi Ballet’s Svetlana Zakharova in Russia when he received anMore »

Plan Your European Audition Tour

Ever dreamed of dancing your way through Europe? Of discovering new companies and wandering the streets of historic cities? For Kelsey Coventry, an American dancer with Leipziger Ballett in Leipzig, Germany, moving abroad was the perfect next step. “I thought that I would try to spread my wings a little further,” she says. Europe alsoMore »

What I Learned Dancing 48 “Nutcrackers”

My first year at New York City Ballet, I was brought onboard three days before the “Nutcracker” season opened to replace injured dancers in the “Snow” scene, “Hot Chocolate” and the “Waltz of the Flowers.” Even though I suddenly had 48 performances ahead, I had grown up dancing George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker,” so I thoughtMore »