Director’s Notes: Maestro in Montevideo

Julio Bocca injects his experience and flair into Uruguay’s Ballet Nacional Sodre. Julio Bocca’s performances during his 20 years at American Ballet Theatre had the tangible feel of verismo. Whatever character he danced—Romeo, Albrecht, Onegin—grabbed you from the stage and swept you into the action. So why wouldn’t the Argentinian star demand energy and excellenceMore »

Company Life: Learning Fearlessness

When you think about it, it’s not surprising that ballerinas are terrified sometimes. There’s a lot that can go wrong when you’re launching yourself through space, being lifted and caught, and pirouetting on pointe—all in front of a few thousand people. But when you see a dancer who appears supremely confident, you shouldn’t assume thatMore »

Director’s Notes: The Maverick in Monaco

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo is Jean-Christophe Maillot’s personal playground. Box-office pressure doesn’t seem to be part of the vocabulary at Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. For the past two decades, this maverick company devoted to the sleek neoclassical work of choreographer-director Jean-Christophe Maillot has been steadily supported by the micro-state of Monaco. Ballet after ballet, theMore »

Company Life: Going to the Dark Side

Where would ballet be without villains? Aurora would never sleep, and Odette would never become a swan. Getting cast as one of ballet’s memorable miscreants can help dancers develop new facets of their artistry and explore their dramatic side. Three professionals talk about how they approach their baddest roles.Creating a Commanding CarabosseBlessed with long legs,More »

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: American Down Under

Ethan Stiefel takes on his biggest role yet as artistic director of Royal New Zealand Ballet. International ballet stars labeled “Made in America” are an endangered species. But former American Ballet Theatre principal Ethan Stiefel is one of the rare few. He first made a global name for himself through guest appearances with The RoyalMore »

Director’s Notes: The Revitalizer

Emily Molnar has given Ballet BC fresh life. Watching the exuberant dancing of today’s Ballet BC, you’d hardly guess that the troupe was on the brink of collapse a little more than four years ago. In 2008, dwindling audiences had compounded the company’s financial difficulties. Forced to lay off staff and dancers, that December, BalletMore »