Talia Bailes leads a Ballet & Books class. Lindsay France, Courtesy Ballet & Books.
Talia Bailes never imagined that her ballet training and her interest in early learning would collide. But Bailes, a senior studying global and public health sciences at Cornell University, now runs a successful non-profit called Ballet & Books, which combines dancing with the important but sometimes laborious activity of learning to read. And she has a trip to South America to thank.
In 2015, before starting at Cornell, Bailes took a gap year and headed to Ecuador with the organization Global Citizen Year to teach English to more than 750 students. But Bailes, who grew up training at a dance school outside Cincinnati, Ohio, also spent time teaching them ballet and learning their indigenous dances. "The culture in Ecuador was much more rooted in dance and music rather than literacy," she recalls. Bailes was struck by the difference in education and the way that children were able to develop and grow socially through dance. "It left me thinking, what if dance could be truly integrated into the way that we approach education?"
The Royal Ballet announced yesterday that it has ended its association with the choreographer Liam Scarlett.
Scarlett, who has served as the company's artist in residence since 2012, had been under investigation for sexual misconduct against Royal Ballet School students. However, in a brief statement released yesterday, The Royal Ballet said that the independent investigation, led by Linda Harvey Associates, had found "no matters to pursue in relation to alleged contact with students of the Royal Ballet School."
Syracuse City Ballet dancer Claire Rathbun rehearsing for performances of Cinderella, which were cancelled due to COVID-19. Felipe Panama, Courtesy Syracuse City Ballet.
Coronavirus precautions are spreading throughout the U.S. and the world, and the dance community is feeling the effects. As schools and public gatherings are being shut down, dancers are forced to take time away from the barre and postpone performances. It's been heartbreaking to hear about almost every company of every size cancel upcoming performances, stop classes and rehearsals, and temporarily lay off dancers with no solidified end date.
As a dancer with Los Angeles Ballet, in a city where the spread of COVID-19 is rampant, I've had to adjust to this new reality. Somewhat thankfully, the company is already on a previously scheduled lay-off right now through April 13. Our season will continue through June, and we have yet to cancel shows or weeks of work, which hopefully will remain the case. Los Angeles Ballet School and our A Chance to Dance community outreach program, which hosts a day of free classes taught by LAB dancers every month, are on hiatus.
One of the hardest parts of hunkering down to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is giving up our daily routines. And for dancers, that means class. Last week we shared a number of online teaching platforms (including Miami City Ballet principal soloist Lauren Fadely's new virtual ballet school), but now there are even more options. Over the weekend a handful of pros stepped forward to share that they'll be giving virtual class via Instagram or Facebook Live. So stake a claim to your kitchen counter, and start organizing your schedule for the week.
Have you seen an option for online class that we've missed? Share it in the comments and we'll add it to this list!
David Hallberg. Daniel Boud, Courtesy The Australian Ballet.
Yesterday evening, international ballet star David Hallberg took fans by surprise with an exciting announcement: In 2021, he will become the artistic director of The Australian Ballet. Hallberg will follow in the footsteps of current director David McAllister, who's been at the helm for nearly 20 years.
Students at Sun King Dance's Adult Ballet Camp. Jenny McQueen of Capture Photography, Courtesy Sun King Dance.
For adult recreationaldancers, summer isn't just a time for swapping out warm-up sweaters for breezy tees—it's also about taking your training to the next level, and perhaps packing your bags for a ballet workshop. Why should teens and pre-professionals have all of the fun? Fortunately, there are scores of adult summer programs all over the United States, and even abroad for those of you looking to sprinkle in a little sightseeing after your final reverénce. (Can't wait for summer? Check out these spring workshops at National Ballet of Canada and Sarasota Ballet.)
What can adults expect from a weekend or a week of dance training? Everything from technique to repertoire to yoga. Most of all, it's a chance to just dig in and dance, without a pesky to-do list waiting for you after class. Here are some summer programs designed for adult recreational dancers to keep on your radar.
The eight 2020 Prix de Lausanne prize winners. Photo by Rodrigo Buas, courtesy of PdL
The 2020 Prix de Lausanne has officially come to a close after a thrilling week of classes, coaching sessions, competition performances and networking forums. The annual competition, which was live streamed around the world and watched over 1.1 million times, gave 77 dancers an opportunity to perform and take class in front of an international panel of judges. In addition to a classical variation, candidates had to master a contemporary solo by Mauro Bigonzetti, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Cathy Marston, Wayne McGregor, Heinz Spoerli or Richard Wherlock.
Amar Ramsar's girlfriend and New York City Ballet corps dancer, Alexa Maxwell. Photo by Paul Kolnik, Courtesy of The PR Social
Over the past few weeks, tensions have risen around New York City Ballet principal Amar Ramasar's casting in the Broadway revival of West Side Story, set to open February 20. Ramasar iscurrently embroiled in a lawsuit surrounding the sharing of sexually explicit photos of a female dancer. In light of a protest against Ramasar's casting scheduled for tonight outside the Broadway Theater, his girlfriend of five years, New York City Ballet corps dancer Alexa Maxwell, identified herself as the dancer in his photos and released a statement sharing her point of view.