In the last few years, Daniel Ulbricht has been pretty busy. In addition to his work as principal dancer at New York City Ballet, his pickup company, Stars of American Ballet, has toured internationally since 2013. This summer, the group will make its debut at the historic Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in a program called Ballet 2014. Ten dancers will perform both classic ballets (like Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free) and more contemporary work, by choreographers Christopher Wheeldon and Benjamin Millepied. Ulbricht has also commissioned a new pas de deux from rising choreographic star Emery LeCrone. The duet features NYCB corps members Russell Janzen and Emily Kikta. DS spoke with Kikta to get the inside scoop.
Dance Spirit: How would you describe the pas de deux?
Emily Kikta: It’s very romantic. The music is a Rachmaninoff cello sonata. It’s on pointe, but not too classical. Emery’s movement is so natural and expressive.
DS: It must be exhausting to have extra rehearsals on top of your full schedule with NYCB. Do you have any free time?
EK: Luckily, Emery works very quickly, and we knocked out a lot of the piece in one rehearsal. Since then, Russell and I have been finding time to rehearse ourselves—sometimes in the morning before class, or at night when we aren’t performing. So I do have a tiny bit of free time.
Emily Kikta in "Rubies" from George Balanchine's Jewels
(photo by Paul Kolnik)
DS: What would you say is the best part about performing in Ballet 2014?
EK: Since I’m in the corps at NYCB, I’m usually only featured in solo roles. I haven’t really performed a true pas de deux yet. Plus, Daniel’s team of dancers is so amazing. To be in a group with them is such an honor—I feel like I’m not worthy!
DS: What’s most exciting about Ballet 2014?
EK: The program will show how versatile ballet dancers can be. One small group of people is doing both classical and contemporary work—work that’s hard, romantic and energetic.
Jacob’s Pillow is also such a cool venue. There’ll be so many other artists and companies there—it’s a whole culture. It’s actually going to be my first time performing there. I can’t wait.
Nearly 80,000 dance-loving Instagram followers can't be wrong: Quinn Starner is one to watch. And what's just as impressive as the 15-year-old's rabid online following is her ever-growing list of competition accolades. Quinn, who trains at Indiana Ballet Conservatory and Stars Dance Company, been named first runner-up at The Dance Awards for two years in a row (as a junior and a teen); was the 2016 West Coast Dance Explosion Teen National Champion; earned first place in contemporary and third place in the classical division at Youth America Grand Prix Regionals in Pittsburgh last year; has won the Grand Prix Award at ADC|IBC; and was a gold medalist at World Ballet Art Competition Grand Prix. Plus, she made it to the Academy round on last year's "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation," and has performed as Clara in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Here's what Quinn has to say about her favorite songs, teachers, and career highlights.
Want a chance to get personally involved in the HOTLY anticipated TV show "World of Dance"? Of course you do. That's why J. Lo. and the rest of the "WOD" team have launched an interactive version of the upcoming NBC series that lets Snapchatters get in on the action.
On Saturday morning, Russell Horning—aka 15-year-old Instagram king @i_got_barzz—was already kind of famous. His admittedly bad but weirdly mesmerizing dance videos had earned him shoutouts from the likes of Rihanna (and dance tributes from the likes of Josh Killacky).
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