Watts, a former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet and one of the company's biggest stars, has taught master ballet classes at Hunter and serves on the school's Dance Advisory Board. She is receiving the degree at a time when Hunter is expanding its dance curriculum.
Watts came to New York from California at the age of 13 on a Ford Foundation scholarship to attend the School of American Ballet......
Wednesday, January 18
Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:11 AM
Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:13 AM
What do you think about the movie “Black Swan”? The main role lady is obsessed with her role and dies. Have you ever obsessed with your roles?
I think the movie is very different from the real life of ballerinas. I heard that the sister of movie’s director wanted to be ballerina but she couldn’t make the grade. Maybe that’s why the movie was so black and negative. Ballet is the brightness of life, I feel happiness from it.
What is your impression of Mongolian ballet dancers?
Their technique is really good and they work very well together.
Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:15 AM
Whatever that unique quality is that makes one performer stand out above the others, "Katie," as she likes to be called, has it, and has made audiences sit back and pay attention throughout her local dance career.
The 22-year-old dancer was recently featured as one of "25 To Watch" in Dance Magazine. Watching Katie in a recent performance, it was easy to see why the judges chose her. Tall, lithe and extremely poised, she is deliberate in every move she makes.
Natalia pointed out to me that I mischaracterized Williams' status with ABT in my original posting. Much obliged to her for taking the time to correct me! Apologies.
Edited by dirac, 20 January 2012 - 12:16 PM.
Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:17 AM
As I continue to work with my own mentors and coaches, now as a teacher, and continue to collaborate with fellow artists as a dancer and choreographer, the discussion of how to train dancers for this new rehearsal environment comes up often. So much emphasis in the ballet world is placed on technical virtuosity (legs in the most extreme extension possible and more consecutive turns than you could imagine) that young dancers often lose the sense of the artistry and humanity that their technical proficiency merely serves. To speak up when you need help or don't understand a phrase can be daunting to a young dancer, especially if she has never been asked I don't know — what do you think?
When I brought my friend Deborah Lohse to work with my company last year, the girls created many phrases within her piece that were their own stories told in movement — they even chose a word to write on an arm — and wrote the word on the arms of unsuspecting audience members, a word someone had once praised them with. Unique. Treasured. Beautiful.
Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:18 AM
You started dancing at the relatively late age of 13 and had to work excessively hard to catch up to girls who were practically en pointe as toddlers. Can you talk a little bit about the discipline it took to get where you are today? I think your story is inspirational for anyone in pursuit of a dream.
I was never part of any organized sports growing up so I had no experience at all when I stepped into dance. Thirteen was definitely late to begin, but I was so hungry for it, I was willing to fight. Once I decided I wanted to try and make a career out of this, I was taking up to six hours a day of training plus rehearsals at night. I was en pointe within three months, which is actually really dangerous and not common though I had the strength and adapted fast to ballet technique so my teacher felt I was ready. Eventually I started living with my coach to be closer to her studio. It was an intense four years, but I was accepted into ABT’s summer intensive at 17 and I was invited to join the corps from there.
Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:20 AM
The Barre Society is Tulsa Ballet's membership group for adults younger than 40. Its mission for young professionals is to stimulate interest in dance, encourage philanthropy and volunteerism, allow an insider's view of a world-class ballet company, and provide social and networking opportunities throughout the ballet season.
Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:22 AM
Do you miss the structure and discipline that were part of your Royal Ballet routine? The freelance life on the West End and elsewhere is surely very different!
You have to fight for everything as a freelance and make sure you get relationships going with choreographers and directors and get to know what’s going on everywhere so that you can say, “Get me an audition for that!” [Laughs.] It’s a completely different world, but also an exciting one. I couldn’t imagine at this point going back to the ballet world where I had no control over what I was doing, which I found quite frustrating. I like to be a bigger part of my own destiny.
Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:23 AM
The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago offers a mixed repertory program called "Winter Fire," and it features three pieces by some of the world's most important contemporary ballet choreographers. First on the bill is U.S. choreographer William Forsythe's challenging In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated set to an electronic-punk score by Thom Willems. Next are works by two British choreographers: Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain set to music of Arvo Pärt, then the U.S. premiere of Wayne McGregor's high-tech multimedia piece InfraChoreography.
Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:34 AM
In an interview Tuesday, Alison Moore said she has accepted a position working with Mark Rucker's Transcendental Graphics, a virtual collection of 19th Century baseball images. The opportunity to work on the collection was simply too good to pass up.
Posted 18 January 2012 - 03:35 PM
The ballets are not all historically faithful recreations — a central pas de deux has been inserted in “Scheherazade,” danced Tuesday by Uliana Lopatkina and Daniil Korsuntsev, and chances are you’ll either love or hate the redesigned set and costumes for “The Firebird.” I am not a fan: Whisper-thin Ekaterina Kondaurova was nearly engulfed by the distracting flap of her oversize tutu skirt. The evil Kashchei looked as if he’d stepped off the set of a “Doctor Who” episode, festooned, apparently, with tin foil; his goon squad was coiffed in zombie bouffants and stuck all over with purple and green fur. It struck me as run-of-the-mill fantasy-kitsch.
Still, several of the performances were quite wonderful, particularly Xenia Ostreykovskaya in the tender Prelude role in “Chopiniana.” There was suppleness and breath in her dancing, and great delicacy. And, a sense of the body harmonizing with the Chopin, and with its candlelight mood
Posted 19 January 2012 - 11:17 AM
Kampa, 22, was the first American to receive the Russian diploma from the Vaganova Ballet Academy. The 274-year-old school has trained many notables in the classical ballet world, including George Balanchine, Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Natalia Makarova.
The invitation from the Mariinsky came last summer when Kampa was in St. Petersburg. “I went there to visit. I wasn’t thinking I could audition. I was rehearsing a pas de deux and the director came in and watched,” said Kampa, during a break Wednesday in her rehearsals in Boston.
Posted 19 January 2012 - 11:18 AM
But it was another virtuoso who had a breakthrough on Tuesday. Ashley Bouder is the surest technician in NYCB. On her best days, she dances the way one dreams about dancing. On most days, though, she pushes too hard, beating her roles into submission instead of just dancing them. I wonder sometimes if she's bored with her repertoire, and out of frustration is straining to prove how much more she can be! She began Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux that way--self-conscious, showy. Then she fell during her variation, and lost a bit of her swagger. There it was, suddenly: vulnerability. Bouder is so much more appealing as a human than a superhuman. When she stops pointing out her own strengths, they become more impressive.
Posted 19 January 2012 - 11:20 AM
As a special guest performer, McIntyre has danced at several international dance festivals. He is also the founder and artistic director of the Marianne McIntyre Memorial International Ballet Scholarship, a ballet festival held annually in memory of his mother.
McIntyre choreographed and premiered his own original ballet, “What May Come,” at the 1999 at the Australian Ballet Centre in collaboration with the Anti-Cancer Council of Australia and raised funds towards cancer research and awareness
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