Dancer Spotlight: Subtlety and Style

With his old-school athleticism, clean lines and compact frame, John Mark Giragosian stands out among the Joffrey Ballet’s many strong male dancers. He partners effortlessly, crisply articulating the essence of each step. In his solos, he seems more expressive than determinedly impressive, bringing color and inflection even to abstract movement. Giragosian is not a JoffreyMore »

Dancer Spotlight: The Element of Surprise

You wouldn’t expect Navarra Novy-Williams to stand out in a company like Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. Surrounded by powerhouse performers, her 5′ 3″ frame seems delicate, her demeanor demure. But then she begins to dance, and an unexpected quirkiness escapes. She moves with a playful, almost childlike energy that draws you in because you can’tMore »

Dancer Spotlight: Ballerina In Bloom

Elena Lobsanova catches your eye even before she starts to dance. It’s not just her natural beauty, long limbs and elegant carriage. The 25-year-old National Ballet of Canada first soloist, who last month danced the tragic heroine in Alexei Ratmansky’s new Romeo and Juliet, possesses something that can’t be taught: charisma. It’s an unaffected airMore »

Dancer Spotlight: A Russian Edge

In company class at Boston Ballet, Keenan Kampa moves with the purity and nobility of a classical Russian dancer. In adagio, the long-limbed corps member seems most at ease with her leg by her ear, yet during grand allégro she leaps gracefully across the high-ceilinged studios. “She has everything a ballet dancer needs,” says ShannonMore »

Dancer Spotlight: A Prodigy Grows Up

Most talented ballet dancers follow a predictable school-to-company route. Not Beatriz Stix-Brunell. Currently in The Royal Ballet’s corps, she has carved out an unconventional—and already high-profile—career path.   Stix-Brunell, who grew up in New York City, began her training at the School of American Ballet. But something, she felt, was missing. “The Balanchine style isMore »

Dancer Spotlight: Serious Talent

Although she can move with the lightness of a dragonfly skimming a pond, a year ago American Ballet Theatre corps member Meaghan Hinkis scored a great success with ABT II by doing no dancing at all. Last spring, she performed the role of a mourning widow visiting the statue of her assassinated husband in RogerMore »

Dancer Spotlight: An American In Denmark

On a stage filled with dainty Danish dancers, Shelby Elsbree looks very American: spunky, playful and a little bit feisty. Even in the prim, polite confines of Bournonville choreography, this 20-year-old Royal Danish Ballet corps member moves with a sense of bubbly abandon.   As a student, Elsbree never imagined she would begin her careerMore »

Dancer Spotlight: Learning Curve

As the curtain closed on the tender image of Juliet intertwined with her Romeo, the audience at Minneapolis’ Northrop Auditorium paused, letting the raw abandon of Sara Ivan’s performance wash over them before breaking into thunderous applause. Ivan had poured heart and soul into Maurice Béjart’s  grueling 15-minute pas de deux. The performance, part ofMore »

Dancer Spotlight: Glamour Girl

Whenever Kaitlyn Gilliland steps out of the corps de ballet to dance principal roles—and she has done so often since joining the company as an apprentice in 2005—she dances with an artistry that rivals the troupe’s top ballerinas. Creamy-skinned, nearly 5’ 11”, with a long torso and even longer legs, Gilliland’s strong technique underlies aMore »

Dancer Spotlight: Mover & Shaper

Sometimes, a body roll is more than just a body roll. In the Armitage Gone! Dance piece Itutu, Kristina Bethel-Blunt’s entire spine seems to flex and weave like rubber. Long and lean even by a dancer’s standards, Bethel-Blunt’s body seems to absorb choreographer Karole Armitage’s shapes by osmosis. “I use the language of the bodyMore »