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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Director’s Notes: Repertoire Revamp

Aaron S. Watkin’s tie with Forsythe brings renewed vitality to Dresden Semperoper Ballett. Every once in a while, a ballet company will come out of left field and reinvent itself in a matter of years. Until Aaron S. Watkin took over as artistic director in 2006, Dresden’s Semperoper Ballett was mainly known as a midsizeMore »

Director’s Notes: Miami Moves

It was Labor Day weekend of 2012 when Lourdes Lopez received the phone call. Edward Villella, Miami City Ballet’s founder and artistic director of 27 years, had left abruptly, eight months ahead of schedule. Just two days later, Lopez, who wasn’t supposed to take Villella’s place until May of the following year, found herself inMore »

Director’s Notes: A Perfect Paradox

At Stuttgart Ballet, Reid Anderson embraces the traditional and the avant-garde. Name the most prominent choreographers and directors in continental Europe, and the list reads like a who’s who of Stuttgart Ballet alumni. John Neumeier, Jirí Kylián and William Forsythe all came up through the ranks of the German company. Four decades after the deathMore »

A Perfect Paradox

Stuttgart Ballet

Name the most prominent choreographers and directors in continental Europe, and the list reads like a who’s who of Stuttgart Ballet alumni. John Neumeier, Jirí Kylián and William Forsythe all came up through the ranks of the German company. Four decades after the death of its founder, choreographer John Cranko, Stuttgart Ballet remains a trendsetterMore »

Director’s Notes: The Little Company That Could

Iain Webb is bringing international recognition to Sarasota Ballet. Iain Webb describes himself as “a total bunhead.” To prove it, he takes out his iPhone and brings up a photo of Michel Fokine’s death mask, explaining that it’s part of his personal ballet library in his home. Also in that collection? A photograph of WebbMore »