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Farewell to Spring

ABT closed out the season with good old uncle Pyotr (Tchaikovsky, that is) and some welcome promotions. This image, by Rosalie O’Connor, is from Bronislava Nijinska’s “Porcelain Princesses” divertissement, which was added to Sleeping Beauty (or, as Diaghilev called it, The Sleeping Princess) by Serge Diaghilev in 1921. The witty miniature has been revived by Alexei Ratmansky for Aurora’s Wedding, a staging of the third act of Sleeping Beauty which was part of the Tchaikovsky Spectacular this week at ABT.

My review, for DanceTabs, is here.

Steppin’ Out

Cassandra Trenary and James Whiteside tore it up last Friday at Midsummer Night Swing with their rhumba, set to “Sway,” performd by the Brooklyn-based band Margi and the Dapper Dots. Margi, aka Margaret Gianquinto, sang a set of standards including Irving Berlin’s “Steppin’ Out with My Baby,” and the slow, romantic waltz “Far Away Places.” She has a nice, vintage-sounding voice, velvety and friendly, not too pushy. I did a little piece for the Times about it, which you’ll find here.

(Photo by Julieta Cervantes for the Times.)

Passing it on—Wendy Whelan sets Pictures at an Exhibition

In this photo by Lindsay Thomas, Wendy Whelan coaches Pacific Northwest’s Lesley Rausch and Batkhurel Bold in the pas de deux from Alexei Ratmansky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, which the company premiered in June. It was Whelan’s first experience setting a ballet. Of the process, she told me: “It was a feeling of happiness that I’d never felt before – like a dancer’s version of having a baby. It wasn’t me, it was about this baby, this thing. This is theirs now, it’s in their bodies.” The full interview is here.

Love Scorned

It’s Onegin week at American Ballet Theatre. What can explain the enduring fascination with this story of a St. Petersburg dandy who scorns the love of a young girl, only to realize his great error many years later? It’s the drama! Onegin has proven itself to be a vehicle for dancing actors who can project an anguished inner life. Here in this photo by Rosalie O’Connor, we have Hee Seo and David Hallberg. My review of their performance is at DanceTabs.

Vishneva’s Farewell

A still from the video I collaborated on with Emily Rhyne for the New Yorker (yes they do videos now!) about the great ballerina Diana Vishneva and her farewell to ABT. See the link to the film above in my bio. Vishneva’s final performance with the company is this Friday, in John Crankos Onegin. Here she talks about moving forward, about fearing that she was never good enough, and about the intensity of the pace at ABT.

The link to the film is here.

Dance Films

In just a couple of years since retiring from Miami City Ballet, Ezra Hurwitz seems to have more or less cornered the market for short promotional dance films. Everywhere you turn—company websites, Instagram, Facebook—one of his films seems to pop up, promoting this or thate new ballet or a dancer or a project of some sort. I was intrigued about how he did this—essentially filling a niche just as it was coming into existence—so I sat down with him, hoping to find out. You can read our conversation on the Dance Magazine website.

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Photo by Ezra Hurwitz

Ailey

This is Chalvar Monteiro (in a photo by Daniel Azoulay), of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He joined the company in 2015, after dancing for Kyle Abraham for several years. In a company of powerhouses, his dancing stands out for its clean lines, quiet bravura and focus (as you can see here). My eye always seems to find him on the stage. He never skimps on the details, but his dancing has energy and vibrancy, too. Here he is in Sinner Man, from Revelations. My review of the company’s June 17 matinee is at Dancetabs.com