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When news about the lawsuit against New York City Ballet and Chase Finlay emerged last week, plaintiff Alexandra Waterbury, a former School of American Ballet student, told The New York Times:

"Every time I see a little girl in a tutu or with her hair in a bun on her way to ballet class, all I can think is that she should run in the other direction," she said, "because no one will protect her, like no one protected me."

It was quite a statement, and it got us thinking. Of course, it's heartbreaking to imagine the experiences that Waterbury lists in the lawsuit, and it's easy to see why this would be her reaction.

But should aspiring ballet dancers really "run in the other direction"? Were her alleged experiences isolated incidences perpetuated by a tiny percentage of just one company—or are they indicative of major problems in today's ballet culture within and beyond NYCB's walls?

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Körbes with Karel Cruz in one of her final rehearsals at PNB

The Los Angeles dance scene’s meteoric rise continues, with another major gain for the Golden Coast: the superlative Carla Körbes. We hadn’t finished drying our eyes following her retirement from Pacific Northwest Ballet earlier this month, when the announcement came she’d been appointed associate artistic director of L.A. Dance Project. While founding artistic director Benjamin Millepied is overseas running Paris Opéra Ballet, Körbes will be on-site, overseeing programming, casting and rehearsals.

She joins LADP managing director James Fayette, also associate director of the freshly launched Colburn Dance Academy, which trains pre-professional ballet students under the leadership of Fayette's wife, retired New York City Ballet principal Jenifer Ringer. (More on this in our July issue.)

And Körbes’ news comes on the heels of the announcement that American Ballet Theatre’s executive director Rachel S. Moore is also heading west as the new president and CEO of L.A.’s Music Center.

The migration continues! We can’t wait to see what Körbes achieves in her new role.

Photo by Lindsay Thomas, courtesy of photographer

Jenifer Ringer in Jewels

Recently retired NYCB principals Jenifer Ringer and her husband James Fayette are Los Angeles–bound for jobs in arts education.

Ringer has been appointed head of the new Colburn Dance Academy, a division of The Colburn School, which offers dance, music and drama programs for students of all ages. Beginning this fall, the program will partner with Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project to offer pre-professional training, by audition, to dancers ages 14–19.

Fayette, who has taken on the role of managing director for L.A. Dance Project, will also serve as associate director of the Colburn Dance Academy.

Millepied, who will move overseas to begin his new job as director of Paris Opera Ballet in the fall, will be an artistic adviser to the program.

Photo by Paul Kolnik, courtesy NYCB

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