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.
It's news that, as a New Yorker, I am selfishly sad to report: American Ballet Theatre has announced that its The Nutcracker, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, will move to the west coast in 2015. Its last New York performance will be this December at the Brooklyn Academy of Music before it calls the Segerstom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, "home." Ratmansky's production premiered in 2010 and received instant praise for its fine use of students and quick wit.
David Hallberg is everywhere right now—from the Bolshoi and ABT to fashion magazines to TV. Today, NOWNESS.com, a luxury lifestyle website, premiered a new short dance film called "Hallberg at Work" featuring the ballet star in the ABT studios, performing a solo created for him by Marcelo Gomes. It's an intense, up-close five-minute clip that kind of feels like what would happen if Darren Aronofsky made a dance film...oh, wait.
American Ballet Theatre is heading up to Harlem. The company just announced a new partnership with the Harlem School of the Arts. Starting this fall, all HSA dance faculty members will be trained in ABT's National Training Curriculum. JKO principal Franco De Vita will serve as an advisor and conduct master classes at the school throughout the year. The new ballet curriculum will be added to HSA's current classes in jazz, tap, modern, African and hip hop.
What does it take to be a dancer with American Ballet Theatre? The company's dancers and staff tackled that question last night at the Guggenheim Museum's Works & Process program. “ABT dancers need to do it all,” said Kevin McKenzie in a video clip. “They need to have the ability to cross the borders of the stylistic demands of contemporary dance and ballet.”
London ballet fans, get excited: It was just announced yesterday that Natalia Osipova will join The Royal Ballet. Her first role will be Juliet opposite Carlos Acosta this fall. The only problem? She's still on contract as a principal with both American Ballet Theatre and the Mikhailovsky Ballet. Although the Mikhailovsky director said she'd be warmly welcomed back to St.
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Rodeo, Agnes de Mille's landmark Western Ballet, dancers from American Ballet Theatre have taken the ballet to the New York City streets—and rivers. On Wednesday, a New York Water Taxi filled with the costumed cast took off from 44th street, made a pit stop at the Statue of Liberty, and then headed to the South Street Seaport to give a tap lesson for 100 New York City public school kids.
Good news for all aspiring ABT dancers: The company just annouced a new apprentice program. Each year, it will prepare six talented dancers to become apprentices with the corps de ballet under the guidance of ABT Studio Company artistic associate (and Pointe editor at large!) Kate Lydon and ABT ballet master Clinton Luckett. The dancers will train intensively for 10 weeks beginning in September, then dance as apprentices during The Nutcracker, and ABT's spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House.
I wish Marcelo Gomes were my best friend. The man is a joyous ball of energy that I want to share mac & cheese with, and take out disco dancing on a Saturday night, and maybe swap some juicy gossip with while getting our toenails painted. So far, I've settled for simply watching his glorious dancing at ABT.
A company is only as strong as the sum of its parts—and at ABT, each member plays their part to the utmost. I had the opportunity to be a super in ABT’s Taipei productions of La Bayadere this weekend, playing one of the two girls who stand on stage left during the pas d’ action scene in Act I when Nikiya takes gets bitten by the snake.