East Meets West

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As Hong Kong Ballet corps member Xia Jun rehearses his solo from Krzysztof Pastor’s In Light and Shadow, a distinct Eastern flavor of movement exudes from the suppleness of his port de bras and the articulation of his à la seconde extension. The ballet master calls out corrections in Mandarin, and Swedish-born artistic director MadeleineMore »

In the Studio with Olga Smirnova

(Photo by Quinn Wharton)

Olga Smirnova’s first three seasons at the Bolshoi Ballet were a whirlwind of debuts and creations, but it all came to a halt in 2014, when a foot injury took the Vaganova-trained prodigy out of action for nearly a year. During her break, Smirnova adopted a new approach to taking care of her body throughoutMore »

Breaking Borders

"I had to adapt to the culture: Russian people are more critical, more emotional." (Photo by Nathan Sayers for Pointe magazine)

Russia is often perceived as a closed book from abroad, and ballet is no exception. Though David Hallberg joined the Bolshoi Ballet in 2011, the country’s top companies have been slow to open their ranks to non-Russians. Under acting director Yuri Fateyev, however, the venerable Mariinsky Ballet has welcomed a handful of dancers trained abroad.More »

The Collaborator

(Photo by Kyle Froman for Pointe magazine)

Troy Schumacher has been very busy. The final days of September saw the New York City Ballet corps member rehearsing for a full slate of performances while simultaneously preparing the premiere of Common Ground, his second ballet for the company. Schumacher’s first work for NYCB, Clearing Dawn, was notable for its athleticism, high energy andMore »

On the Set of “Flesh and Bone”

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“Cut!” Ethan Stiefel’s voice booms from behind a monitor. The cast of “Flesh and Bone,” the Starz network’s new television series set in a New York City ballet company, is filming the final episode’s climactic performance scene. Onstage, the dancers regroup while Stiefel, the show’s choreographer and dance consultant, huddles with the director and filmMore »

Forsythe At Work

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William Forsythe isn’t a large man, and he’s not particularly flashy. But when he sidled into Pacific Northwest Ballet’s rehearsal studio on a bright winter afternoon, the dancers all gravitated to him, like sunflowers stretching to the sun. “Gather, my dears!” he greeted them, with a huge smile on his face. Forsythe spent two weeksMore »

Rediscovering Aurora

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It’s two weeks before the March world premiere of American Ballet Theatre’s The Sleeping Beauty at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, and principals Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes are hard at work. As the couple begins Princess Aurora and Prince Désiré’s Act III wedding pas de deux, they exude aMore »