Sambé in David Dawson's The Human Seasons. Photo by Tristram Kenton, Courtesy ROH

25 to Watch 2018: Marcelino Sambé

Marcelino Sambé has been an ebullient presence at The Royal Ballet since he joined the company in 2012. A prizewinner at Moscow International Ballet Competition and Youth America Grand Prix, the Portuguese dancer earned a scholarship to the Royal Ballet School's Upper School and shone from the start in virtuosic variations, with technique that was unfailingly bright and airy.

His short stature could have limited him. But last season, Sambé (who is also an enthusiastic choreographer) broke through to the next level, as was shown by the expressive, harrowing role Crystal Pite created on him in Flight Pattern—that of a migrant gripped by despair.


A promotion to first soloist followed, and this season Sambé is set to build on his budding partnership with the equally sparkling Francesca Hayward, one of the Royal's homegrown principals. After dancing together in La Fille mal gardée and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, they will make joint debuts in Giselle this February, a vote of confidence from director Kevin O'Hare. For Sambé, Albrecht will be the opportunity to show his mettle as royalty—and as a principal in the making.


Find out who else made Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" list this year.

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J. Alice Jackson, Courtesy CHRP

Chicago Human Rhythm Project's Rhythm World Finally Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary

What happens when a dance festival is set to celebrate a landmark anniversary, but a global pandemic has other plans?

Chicago's Rhythm World, the oldest tap festival in the country, should have enjoyed its 30th iteration last summer. Disrupted by COVID-19, it was quickly reimagined for virtual spaces with a blend of recorded and livestreamed classes. So as not to let the pandemic rob the festival of its well-deserved fanfare, it was cleverly marketed as Rhythm World 29.5.

Fortunately, the festival returns in full force this year, officially marking three decades of rhythm-making with three weeks of events, July 26 to August 15. As usual, the festival will be filled with a variety of master classes, intensive courses and performances, as well as a teacher certification program and the Youth Tap Ensemble Conference. At the helm is Chicago native Jumaane Taylor, the newly appointed festival director, who has curated both the education and performance programs. Taylor, an accomplished choreographer, came to the festival first as a young student and later as part of its faculty.

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July 2021