Wouldn't it be great if our favorite dancers could just continue dancing forever? I mean, retirement, shmetirement—we can't bear to see the good ones go!
We're still reeling from New York City Ballet's announcement about Wendy Whelan a few months ago, and on Thursday, Pacific Northwest Ballet dropped this doozy: Beloved principal Carla Körbes will retire at the end of the 2014–2015 season. Körbes has had an illustrious career in both Seattle and New York. Born and raised in Brazil, she moved to NYC to study at the School of American Ballet as a teen, and became a NYCB apprentice in 1999. Körbes joined the main company soon after, and in 2005, she became a soloist. But later that year she had a change of heart, and decided to move across the country to join PNB as a soloist. A year later she was promoted to principal.
Leaping to new adventures (photo by Matthew Murphy)
Luckily for PNB devotees, Körbes' last performance isn't until June 7, 2015, which means there are still plenty of opportunities to see her perform. She'll dance in George Balanchine's Jewels this September and October, Kent Stowell's Nutcracker in November and December, Don Quixote in January and SwanLake in April. And if you're on the East Coast, you can catch her when the company comes to NYC's Joyce Theater in October.
PNB also has a significant presence on YouTube, including enough videos of Körbes that you could spend a whole day watching her. (I recommend it.) This quick profile is a good way to start the mourning process:
So far, there's not much news about what Ms. Körbes will be up to next. In an interview with the New York Times, Körbes, who's only 33, mentioned that injuries have taken a toll on her body, and that she's “always compensating and just trying to get through a season." Körbes continued: "I don’t want to ‘get through’ a season, so I need to change the way I’m making my art.”
That last part makes it sound like she's still going to make art. I sure hope so.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
There's a story Kate Walker, director of dance at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, loves to tell about Emma Sutherland, who just graduated from the program. "We were watching the students run a really long, challenging piece," Walker recalls. "Several kids couldn't quite make it through. But Emma did make it all the way to the end, which is when she walked up to us faculty and very politely asked, 'May I please go throw up?' "