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 »

An American in Moscow

A striking dancer with ultra-classical elegance, Joy Womack, who turns 21 in April, is the first American woman to graduate from the domestic program of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow in over 60 years. She was immediately placed in the school’s Russian classes, as opposed to its foreign program, which is unusual for anMore »

A Day with the Danes

Before Balanchine and Petipa, there was Bournonville. A key figure of ballet’s Romantic era, August Bournonville directed the Royal Danish Ballet for 43 years during the 19th century, choreographing around 50 ballets. After his death, his successors codified his teachings into a formal pedagogical method that’s still used at the Royal Danish Ballet School today.More »