Dance lovers around the country are bracing themselves for Wendy Whelan's farewell performance with New York City Ballet on Saturday, October 18. Today, NPR's Morning Edition featured an interview with the iconic ballerina, including comments from choreographer Christopher Wheeldon.
You probably remember filmmaker and former Miami City Ballet dancer Ezra Hurwitz's mini-documentary In a Day's Work: It trailed New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns throughout her day, and gave viewers a sense of the mental and physical stamina required of a ballerina at the top of her game.
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.