Ballet News and Views

By Linda Bernstein | Articles and photos showcasing premiere and up-and-coming dancers and companies. Soundtrack on mobile.

Inside Boston Ballet’s record-smashing season

What happens when big data meets classical dance? Judging from Boston Ballet’s record-breaking 2015-16 season, you get a high-tech pas de deux in …

At the Paris Opera Ballet, Changing the Shape of Couture

PARIS — Couture, the handcrafted, made-to-measure clothing that regularly sells in the six figures, is fashion’s top stratum for the uber rich. Aside from brief glimpses on the runways, to most of us it is a hidden world.<p>But couture also exists in another, more accessible universe: theatrical …

Fashion

Savoring the Spectrum of American Ballet Theater’s Rich Season

Scenery, costumes, music, choreography, dancers: American Ballet Theater’s eight-week season at the Metropolitan Opera House is this country’s peak annual demonstration of ballet as a composite art. It’s what many people think of as Diaghilev’s formula for ballet theater, with a strong emphasis on …

Performing Arts

Bolshoi Ballet: the first Soviet invasion

The drama that surrounded the Moscow troupe’s first visit to the west 60 years ago

Ballet

Review: At 53, an Effortless Return to Dance ‘Romeo and Juliet’

Alessandra Ferri, returning to the role of Juliet at 53, on Thursday, was recognizably the same dancer she was 10, 20, 30 years ago — and unmistakably different. The performance was of Kenneth MacMillan’s “Romeo and Juliet,” at the Metropolitan Opera House; the company was American Ballet Theater, …

Playwrights

Love Two Ways: Ashton and Balanchine on Romance

On Tuesday, America’s two foremost ballet companies, playing at adjacent theaters at Lincoln Center, are reviving two of the world’s finest full-length ballet love stories: American Ballet Theater is dancing Frederick Ashton’s “La Fille Mal Gardée” and New York City Ballet is performing George …

Playwrights

Review: A Robbins Double Bill at New York City Ballet

Near the end of Jerome Robbins’s 1969 ballet “Dances at a Gathering,” the full cast stands poised, facing front. Taken out of context, the moment could almost be from a Broadway show. It’s like the end of Robbins’s “West Side Story Suite,” when everyone turns to the audience and sings …

New York City Ballet

New York City Ballet Opens a Spring Gala, and Some Umbrellas

New York City Ballet, founded in 1948, has always had a nonpareil record for its abundance of important new choreography. From the last century, I remember City Ballet galas that presented world premieres by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. On Wednesday, the company’s 2016 Spring Gala was …

Ballet

Cuban Ballet: Proud Past, Promising Future

HAVANA — In the Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso, the woman with her name on the theater makes as grand an entrance as it is possible to make while being propped up by minders. On a recent Friday, Ms. Alonso, the 95-year-old director of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, was ushered to her balcony …

Performing Arts

Ballet superstar Misty Copeland gets her own Barbie doll

Misty Copeland Barbie Doll. Photographer Dennis Di Laura<p>Pinning their buns in place and slipping on their pink shoes, dancers at the San Pedro Ballet …

Robert Fairchild Crosses Back to Ballet, Gershwin in Tow

Pop quiz: The New York City Ballet principal Robert Fairchild is dancing to the sounds of Gershwin, in choreography by Christopher Wheeldon. The title of the work contains the word “American.” Where are we?<p>“An American in Paris”? That’s Mr. Wheeldon’s Tony Award-winning musical, which has starred …

Performing Arts

Boston Ballet casts a spell with latest ‘Swan Lake’

It’s no surprise that after more than 100 years, “Swan Lake” is still considered one of the most beloved of all classical ballets. It is set to a …

Ballet companies must stop wrecking our bodies, warns Russian star

Irina Kolesnikova, who performs at London’s Coliseum in August, says dancers should be nurtured, not pushed to the limits<p>A world-renowned Russian prima ballerina has become the latest star to condemn ballet companies worldwide for putting their dancers through unnecessarily brutal regimes.<p>Irina …

Russia

Romania’s Culture Minister Steps Down as Ballet Dispute Continues

PARIS — The culture minister of Romania tendered his resignation on Wednesday amid a crisis at the ballet company of the Bucharest National Opera involving its artistic director, Johan Kobborg, and the star ballerina Alina Cojocaru, which had led to the cancellation of several performances.<p>In a …

Performing Arts

Prince loved ballet. Here’s why Misty Copeland, the Joffrey Ballet & their fans love him back.

The ballet world has had no better superstar friend than Prince, who gave the art form money, celebrity and irresistibly danceable music–and treated it with respect.<p>Years before she became famous for her commercials and her top-rank status at American Ballet Theatre, ballerina Misty Copeland caught …

Performing Arts

Ballet School Where Joffrey Dancers Teach Neighborhood Kids Is A Hidden Gem

WEST RIDGE — When dancers scurry into the basement studio underneath UNO Charter School in West Ridge, they know the rules: Hair in a bun, don't be …

Royal Ballet: The Winter's Tale review – Wheeldon's Shakespeare has classic potential

Royal Opera House, London This revival of Christopher Wheeldon’s ballet looks more impressive than on its 2014 debut, with its original cast returning for the opening<p>When Kevin O’Hare became director of the Royal Ballet, he declared his ambition to create the classics of the future with a new …

The Winter's Tale

Is Justin Peck Making Ballet Cool Again?

The 28-year-old choreographer is making waves for his experimental collaborations with indie rockers and street artists—all while still dancing professionally with the New York City Ballet.<p>In 2009, Justin Peck choreographed his first work for Columbia University’s student ballet troupe. It was four …

Ballet

Matthew Bourne takes risk on ballet version of The Red Shoes

Choreographer says show based on 1948 film – a Broadway version of which flopped – will be his love letter to the theatre<p>It is some people’s favourite movie but the stage version was one of the biggest disasters in Broadway history. So the choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne admitted he was taking a …

Film (UK)

WestEnd Closes Raft of Deals on Ballet Documentary ‘Dancer’

Film follows Sergei Polunin, who was the youngest principal dancer ever at the British Royal Ballet<p>LONDON — WestEnd Films has closed a raft of deals …

Documentaries

WATCH: On A Tough News Day, A Remarkable Moment Of Grace

On a tough news day, we wanted to point you to a remarkable moment of grace that happened just before President Obama addressed the Cuban people at the Gran Teatro de la Havana.<p>Cuban prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso walked onto the balcony to great applause and she thanked the crowd with her …

Latin America

Ballet star Acosta returns to Cuban roots with dance company

HAVANA (Reuters) - Global ballet star Carlos Acosta returns to his Cuban roots when his new dance company takes to the stage next month.<p>Since retiring last year from London's Royal Ballet where he was principal guest artist, the 42-year-old has gone back to his native Havana to found Acosta …

This Man Is Trying to Reinvent the Pennsylvania Ballet

PHILADELPHIA — Ángel Corella knows a thing or two about “Don Quixote,” a ballet in which he had few rivals during his reign as a star dancer with American Ballet Theater. So at a recent rehearsal of his new production at the Pennsylvania Ballet, where he is artistic director, he had some practical …

Performing Arts

Boston Ballet showcases dance by little-known Russian master

Leonid Yakobson may be the most influential 20th-century ballet choreographer most people have never heard of. A Russian contemporary of George …

Russia

ABT star Julie Kent is Washington Ballet’s new artistic director

Julie Kent, one of the most celebrated American ballerinas of her generation, who retired from the stage last summer after a 29-year career at American Ballet Theatre, has been appointed the Washington Ballet’s new artistic director, the company announced Monday.<p>Kent’s position is effective July 1. …

Ballet

New York City Ballet injects incredible zing into new Peck ballet and other works

Super Tuesday took on new meaning at the Kennedy Center Opera House, where the New York City Ballet spun its opening-night performance into a whirlwind of exhilaration.<p>The arts center’s ballet series has become a parade of familiar full-length productions. So kudos to NYCB for launching its …

Ballet

Angel Corella and Pennsylvania Ballet: Pumping up the 'Spanishness' of gala 'Don Quixote'

What's Spanish about the Pennsylvania Ballet's new production of the full-length <i>Don Quixote</i>, premiering Thursday at the Academy of Music? Most …

Spain

Review: Mariinsky Ballet in ‘Raymonda,’ Searching About for a Perfect Suitor

WASHINGTON — Is the Mariinsky Ballet of St. Petersburg breaking records this week? I hope so. Between Monday and this coming Sunday, it is to perform eight programs in four theaters, in three cities on both sides of the Atlantic.<p>This might be exciting if the company’s artistic policy was either …

Romeo and Juliet

At New York City Ballet, Works That Tell Stories and Don’t

The ballets of Justin Peck usually grow on renewed acquaintance. This hasn’t happened yet with his latest work, “The Most Incredible Thing,” which had its premiere at New York City Ballet on Feb. 2. After three viewings and two casts, I like it no better than before. On Saturday afternoon, though, …

Ballet