Changing of the Guard at ABT
What a month it's been at American Ballet Theatre. Over the past few weeks, we've had to say goodbye to two of the company's most charismatic guys: Angel Corella, who is now the head of Barcelona Ballet; and Ethan Stiefel (aka Cooper Nielson), who recently took the helm of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Both Corella and Stiefel have been wowing ABT audiences for years. It felt like the end of an era.
But then, last Friday, came the news that two dancers had been promoted. The gorgeous Hee Seo, fresh off a whole bunch of triumphant performances during ABT's Met season, is now a principal; dashing Alexandre Hammoudi, who recently danced his first Romeo (alongside Seo's Juliet), is now a soloist.
It was sort of perfect that the company announced their promotions in the wake of those two big retirements. Yes, it's the end of one era—but it's also the beginning of another.
We'll miss you, Angel and Ethan—and congratulations, Hee and Alexandre!
Well, this brings class videos to a whole new level! Choreographer Phil Wright and dancer Ashley Liai have been together eight-plus years, but she was still in total shock when he proposed to her mid-dance at Millennium Dance Complex earlier this week. Why? Well, the whole thing was unbelievably perfect.
In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.