‘A Dancer Dies Twice’: The Unique, Sad Challenge of Retiring From Ballet – Maroosha Muzaffar – The AtlanticPosted: 7 March 2014
Acclaimed ballerina Wendy Whelan is just one of many professional dancers who find themselves struggling to transition into new careers as they hit middle age.
Are we seeing a breakdown in the ballet company system? Where the brightest stars used to twinkle in the great companies, all is changing. Alina Cojocaru, the great Royal Ballet ballerina, has announced today shes joining English National Ballet – run by another great Royal Ballet ballerina, Tamara Rojo. For ENB to have the two finest talents of the past decade in Covent Garden now at the head of their cast lists is the biggest stunner since… well, since the Bolshoi Ballets young superstars Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev quit to join the smaller Mikhailovsky Ballet.
Or since the Royals super young male star Sergei Polunin quit Covent Garden and landed with another of Russias “secondary” companies, the Stanislavsky Ballet pictured right in Coppelia.
Another straw in the wind was the almost unthinkable departure this month of a leading Paris Opera Ballet ballerina, Mathilde Froustey, for the much smaller San Francisco Ballet. People just don’t leave Paris Opera.
Osipova, after the Mikhailovsky began to look unstable given its owner’s business problems, agreed to join the Royal Ballet next season – but it’s hard to predict whether that’s about joining the Covent Garden company or about living in a vibrant London, where dance in general has so many fresh options.
All sorts of norms are now up on their ear. Its as if the worlds top football strikers had said no to the Premier League and were forming their own.
Why is this happening?
Behind the scenes: http://vimeo.com/21096567
Limited Fine Art Prints now available here:
Frederic Franklin, an exuberant, British-born ballet dancer who was an early inspiration for choreographers George Balanchine and Agnes de Mille and a frequent stage partner of the renowned ballerina Alexandra Danilova, died Saturday at a New York hospital. He was 98.
He had complications from pneumonia, said his partner, William Ausman.
Most dance companies make money by selling tickets to their performances. Boise-based troupe Trey McIntyre Project has a more expansive business model: “We’ve decided that we have a real asset, which is the creative process itself. We’re selling that,” says John Michael Schert, the company’s co-founder and executive director.
SEVILLE, Spain — Alicia Márquez raises her arms high above her head to get her students to look up while they stamp their feet. She claps her hands hard to keep them in rhythm. To teach flamenco these days here in the epicenter of the dance, she finds she must rely more on showing than telling: Though the 10 women in her class this morning are all accomplished dancers in their 20s and 30s, only one is Spanish.
Flamenco remains a quintessential component of Spanish culture, embedded in the Gypsy community of the Andalusia region. But economically, it depends more and more on foreigners, who come to Spain both to learn the vigorous stamping and clapping of the dance and to recruit Spaniards to teach and perform abroad. Meanwhile, tough times are choking off the flow of new blood from the country where flamenco was born.
Roslyn Sulcas writes: The photographer Henry Leutwyler was building a career in fashion and portrait work in Paris in the late 1980s when he was sent on assignment to photograph Jorge Donn, the charismatic principal dancer who had risen to fame with Maurice Béjart’s Ballet of the 20th Century. The job proved to be a turning point for the Swiss-born Mr. Leutwyler, now 51, who subsequently spent time photographing Mr. Donn and his fellow dancers in Béjart’s company, which was based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
After moving to New York in 1996 Mr. Leutwyler continued to take celebrity portraits but found a way back to dance when New York City Ballet hired him to document repertory pieces.
One assignment turned into several more, and eventually he won permission to take pictures backstage, in class and rehearsal. The result is “Ballet: Photographs of the New York City Ballet,” Steidl, $88, a weighty tome that offers a subtle, revealing view of the life of one of the world’s most prominent ballet companies.