As if Wendy Whelan’s imminent retirement wasn’t a hard enough pill to swallow, news that Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Carla Körbes will retire in June 2015 makes this an even sadder year for ballet.
Körbes started her career at New York City Ballet, before being hired as a soloist at PNB in 2005. In 2006 she was promoted to principal. Körbes has been lauded for her dancing in Balanchine ballets, and has originated roles in ballets by Peter Martins, Benjamin Millepied, Christopher Wheeldon and Twyla Tharp among others.
Though she is winding down her career performing with New York City Ballet, Wendy Whelan isn't retiring from the ballet world. This fall, she will join the faculty at Ballet Academy East, and will continue to share her vast experience with the students in the school's Pre-Professional Division. BAE—under the directorship of Julia Dubno and Darla Hoover—is already home to notable faculty, including former American Ballet Theatre principal Maxim Beloserkovsky.
Good news for ballet lovers in Saratoga Springs, New York. This morning, it was announced that New York City Ballet's summer season at the outdoor Saratoga Performing Arts Center will be extended to two weeks, beginning in 2015. This summer, the company will remain under its one-week contract.
Dancing peasants in traditional costumes often signal a Romantic ballet. However, they don't always consist of a three-act narrative. Divertissements are short ballets created to feature a dancer’s technical skill. August Bournonville choreographed many, including this folkloric interpretation of Gioachino Rossini’s opera William Tell. The dancers don't appear as characters, but rather perform to express the underlying joy in Rossini’s score. Darci Kistler masters this intention, seizing the stage with an unyielding connection to the music.
Sarah Jessica Parker has a few identities: Little Orphan Annie, Carrie Bradshaw, and more recently, #1 celebrity ballet advocate. Today from 12–2 pm EST, she will guest host WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show to talk all things ballet. Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov will chat about their Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Ballet.
Most long-running dance shows—"So You Think You Can Dance," "Dance Moms"—are high on drama. AOL On's city.ballet., though, didn't need shock value to get viewers to tune in. That's one reason I'm excited to report that Sarah Jessica Parker's project is getting a second season.
Much of ballet's magic is the otherworldly presence dancers have when they step onstage—it's hard to imagine our favorite stars having lives outside the theater. But that's what makes documentaries like "The Dancer," a new short film by former Miami City Ballet dancer Ezra Hurwitz, so fascinating. During its six minutes, we follow New York City Ballet principal Gonzalo Garcia through his day. We meet his fuzzy cat inside his small NYC apartment, see his subway commute to Lincoln Center and even peek into the NYCB locker room.