On the Upswing

As the dancers processed through downtown Orlando—smiling, laughing, heads held high—Orlando Ballet artistic director Robert Hill allowed himself to relax and take in the moment. It was 2013 and the company was headed toward its future. Rising from the rubble of a construction site was the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. The dancersMore »

Family and Friends

City Ballet of San Diego is admired in Southern California for its diversity of dancers, a sizeable Balanchine repertoire, lively story ballets and regular accompaniment by full orchestra—all from a compact company. Steven Wistrich, artistic director of CBSD, recalls a 2007 performance, an “aha” moment, when he knew his company, then only 14 years old,More »

Having It All

Kevin Irving is a man of eclectic tastes. It showed in Oregon Ballet Theatre’s 2015–16  season, which opened with Napoli Act III, the company’s first turn with Bournonville, followed by Balanchine’s Nutcracker. Then came Romeo & Juliet, as envisioned by OBT founding artistic director James Canfield. The season closed with Beautiful Decay, an OBT premiereMore »

Steel City Strength

“I was tricked into it,” says Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre artistic director Terrence S. Orr, recalling his introduction to ballet. As a young boy, he wanted to learn acrobatics, but when there wasn’t a beginning class available, the studio owner put him in ballet. By the time he realized he’d been duped, Orr was already enjoyingMore »

The “Show-Me” Director

“There’s always boxes of color to help with that,” says Kansas City Ballet artistic director Devon Carney when I ask him if the long hours in the studio are turning his hair gray. It’s November, and he’s creating the company’s new $2 million Nutcracker production. “I love it,” he says. “There’s nothing like making something thatMore »

Balancing Act

Last August, Louisville Ballet’s artistic and executive director Robert Curran met with an anonymous donor in New York. He came home with a check for one million dollars. His lips are sealed, but the donation bodes well for the ballet’s future under Curran, whose tenure only began in 2014. In its nearly 65-year history, LouisvilleMore »

Leading by Example

While the 20th century brought a number of high-profile dancing directors, from Rudolf Nureyev in Paris to Mikhail Baryshnikov at American Ballet Theatre, most today don’t juggle the highly demanding tasks of simultaneously performing and managing a company. Tamara Rojo is one prominent exception: The Spanish ballerina left The Royal Ballet to become director ofMore »

Director’s Notes: Kicking Their Heels in Cow Town

Mills coaching Miki Kawamura and Alvin Tovstogray (photo by Amy Haley, courtesy OKCB)

Some might call it bravado. Others would say fightin’ spirit. When Robert Mills grabbed the reins of a struggling Ballet Oklahoma in 2008, the company was at a crossroads: To sink under a $400,000 deficit or to merge with Tulsa Ballet. “I wanted to show them what ballet could really do for this community,” saysMore »

Director’s Notes: Southern Charm

Bonnefoux rehearsing dancers Melissa Anduiza and David Morse (photo by Jeff Cravotta, courtesy Charlotte Ballet)

Take a look at Charlotte Ballet’s repertoire, and it’s clear it’s a company fueled by innovative contemporary works yet rich in ballet pedigree. Led by former New York City Ballet stars Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride, the company has challenged its home audience with Dwight Rhoden’s civil-rights themed Sit In Stand Out and delighted attendeesMore »

Director’s Notes: Spain’s Son Returns

Martinez at work in the studio (photo by Jaier Cortes, courtesy CND)

As the Compañía Nacional de Danza moved nimbly between Alejandro Cerrudo’s sleek style and Mats Ek’s earthiness in Paris last winter, it was hard to believe that just five years ago, Spain’s national dance company was primarily a single-choreographer troupe under longtime director Nacho Duato. Since José Martínez, the only Spanish male étoile in theMore »