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News of Note: What You May Have Missed in August 2019

ODC/Dance's Mia J. Chong is one of the recipients of this year's Princess Grace Awards for Dance. Photo by RJ Muna, Courtesy Mona Baroudi PR

Here are the latest promotions, appointments and transfers, plus notable awards and accomplishments from the last month.


Comings & Goings

At The Royal Ballet, Anna Rose O'Sullivan and Luca Acri have been promoted to first soloist, Romany Pajdak, Isabella Gasparini, Tomas Mock and David Yudes to soloist. Gary Avis and Samantha Raine have been appointed senior ballet master and mistress, respectively.

Luke Schaufuss has joined Sarasota Ballet as a principal.

Taryn Kaschock Russell has been appointed director of Harkness Dance Center at 92Y.

Brian McSween has been appointed artistic director of Chattanooga Ballet.

Rory Hohenstein and Veronika Part have been appointed ballet masters at Atlanta Ballet.

Christine Chen has been appointed executive director at STREB.

Luca Sbrizzi will retire from Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre this season. His final performance will be in October.

Maggie Small and Fernando Sabino will retire from Richmond Ballet this season. Small's final performance will be in September, Sabino's in May.

A white woman with dark brown hair smiles at the camera as she rests one hand on a wooden ballet barre. She is wearing bright blue slacks, a pale blue button down, and her hair is loose around her shoulders.

Viviana Durante

Chris McAndrew, Courtesy The Corner Shop PR

Viviana Durante has been appointed director of dance at English National Ballet School for 2019–20.

Awards & Honors

2019 Princess Grace Awards for dance went to Jared Brown (The Juilliard School), Mia J. Chong (ODC/Dance), Stanley Glover (BalletX), Roman Mejia (New York City Ballet) and Byron Tittle (Dorrance Dance). Choreography fellowships went to Rena Butler (Hubbard Street Dance Chicago) and Randy Reyes (CounterPulse). Tommie-Waheed Evans (Lula Washington Dance Theatre) received an honoraria. Kyle Abraham received a special project grant, Raja Feather Kelly a works in progress residency award and Camille A. Brown a choreography mentorship co-commission award.

Ahead of the October 14 awards ceremony, the NY Dance and Performance Awards (the "Bessies") have announced that Joan Myers Brown will receive the 2019 Bessie Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance, Louis Mofsie the 2019 Bessie Award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance.

Dance on Broadway
Courtesy Boneau/Bryan-Brown

If "Fosse/Verdon" whet your appetite for the impeccable Gwen Verdon, then Merely Marvelous: The Dancing Genius of Gwen Verdon is the three-course meal you've been craving. The new documentary—available now on Amazon for rental or purchase—dives into the life of the Tony-winning performer and silver-screen star lauded for her charismatic dancing.

Though she's perhaps most well-known today as Bob Fosse's wife and muse, that's not even half of her story. For starters, she'd already won four Tonys before they wed, making her far more famous in the public eye than he was at that point in his career. That's just one of many surprising details we learned during last night's U.S. premiere of Merely Marvelous. Believe us: You're gonna love her even more once you get to know her. Here are eight lesser-known tidbits to get you started.

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What Dancers Eat
Lindsay Thomas

Every dancer knows that how you fuel your body affects how you feel in the studio. Of course, while breakfast is no more magical than any other meal (despite the enduring myth that it's the most important one of the day), showing up to class hangry is a recipe for unproductive studio time.

So what do your favorite dancers eat in the morning to set themselves up for a busy rehearsal or performance day?

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News
Simon Soong, Courtesy DDT

When it comes to dance in the U.S., companies in the South often find themselves overlooked—sometimes even by the presenters in their own backyard. That's where South Arts comes in. This year, the regional nonprofit launched Momentum, an initiative that will provide professional development, mentorship, touring grants and residencies to five Southern dance companies.

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News
Alice Pennefather, Courtesy ROH

You ever just wish that Kenneth MacMillan's iconic production of Romeo and Juliet could have a beautiful love child with the 1968 film starring Olivia Hussey? (No, not Baz Luhrmann's version. We are purists here.)

Wish granted: Today, the trailer for a new film called Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words was released, featuring MacMillan's choreography and with what looks like all the cinematic glamour we could ever dream of:

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