Director’s Notes: A Sense of Camaraderie

Pennsylvania Ballet’s Roy Kaiser inspires his dancers to develop their gifts. At eye level by Roy Kaiser’s desk is a photo of Philadelphia’s PECO skyscraper with the message “Save the Ballet” in lights. The picture is from 1991, when Pennsylvania Ballet was facing a financial meltdown. After 32 years with PA Ballet and 17 asMore »

Director’s Notes: Advice From The Majors

Boston Ballet artistic director Mikko Nissinen, now in his 10th year with the company, shares his audition tips. When I envision a ballet company of the future, I see a troupe that can perform many genres of dance at a high level. Today’s dancers shouldn’t be limited as specialists in one style. When looking forMore »

Director’s Notes: Dancing for the Punk Ballerina

Karole Armitage’s company oozes downtown cool. This may come as a bit of a surprise: The woman who choreographed Madonna’s music video for “Vogue” says she doesn’t care about  poses. For choreographer Karole Armitage, single silhouettes are just points on a line. “I’m not interested in positions, I’m interested in the path between them,” explainsMore »

Director’s Notes: Returning To Its Roots

Ted Brandsen has made the Dutch National Ballet more national…and international. Onstage, Dutch National Ballet dancers have a no-nonsense energy and an intoxicating confidence—and for good reason: The company has been on the rise since Ted Brandsen took the reins in 2003. The dancer-turned-choreographer has hired a host of up-and-coming young soloists, and produced anMore »

A Company Of Her Own

Suzanne Farrell has always done things her own way. In the 1960s and ’70s, when she rose to stardom as George Balanchine’s preeminent muse at New York City Ballet, she set the standard for dancing that was committed, mercurial and marvelously alive to the music. Fearless in the face of multiple pirouettes and perilous transitions,More »

The Choreography Curator

It’s not easy to catch artistic director Helgi Tomasson for a chat mid-season at San Francisco Ballet. The company must squeeze eight programs into little more than three months a year at the War Memorial Opera House (the San Francisco Opera is the other principal tenant). Tomasson spends much of that period rushing from studioMore »

Russian Seasons

When it was announced last summer that Nacho Duato would become artistic director of St. Petersburg’s Mikhailovsky Ballet, the most common reaction was: Huh? How could the choreographer who transformed Spain’s Compañia Nacional de Danza into a contemporary stronghold—and left because the Spanish government wanted to steer that company in a more classical direction—take onMore »

Director’s Notes: Big, Bold, Bolshoi

New director Yuri Burlaka is leading the historic institution into the 21st century. Even on a Friday morning in the midst of a three-week tour to London, the atmosphere in a Bolshoi company class is reverential. There’s no chatting or laughing at the barre. The soft-spoken coach, Marina Kondratieva, enumerates steps calmly and thoughtfully. EachMore »

Core Strengths

Watching English National Ballet’s corps de ballet glide through the second act of Giselle, it’s hard to imagine the com­pany’s very existence was in jeopardy five years ago. Two artistic directors had resigned in rapid succession, citing insufficient funding among other reasons. England’s Arts Council was forced to implement a four-year plan to keep theMore »