Gabrielle Hamilton in John Heginbotham's dream ballet from Oklahoma! Photo by Little Fang Photo, Courtesy DKC/O&M

News of Note: What You Might Have Missed in October 2019

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


Comings & Goings

A woman with short, coifed gray and white hair smiles at the camera. She's wearing a nice black dress with a matching shawl, a silver watch and a ring, and is seated cross legged on light wooden steps.

Karen Kain

Karolina Kuras, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada


Karen Kain will retire as artistic director of National Ballet of Canada in January 2021, at which time she will be named artistic director emeritus. A search for her successor is underway.

Stella Abrera will retire from American Ballet Theatre after this season. Her final performance will be in Giselle, scheduled for June 13. Longtime corps member Melanie Hamrick gave her final performance with the company during its fall season.

Dmitri Dovgoselets will retire from Royal Winnipeg Ballet this season. His final performance will be during the company's run of Moulin Rouge February 26–March 1.

At Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Nicole Clarke-Springer will begin serving as artistic director in December. Kevin Iega Jeff will shift to creative director of Deeply Rooted Productions. Jacquelyn Smiley Robinson has been appointed managing director.

Remi Harris has been appointed programs manager at Center for Performance Research.

Raymond Rodriguez has been named director of the Joffrey Academy of Dance.

Erin Lally has been appointed director of the 92Y Dance Education Laboratory.

At Oregon Ballet Theatre, Jessica Lind and Thomas Baker have been promoted to soloist.

Awards & Honors

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage awarded Dinita Clark a Pew Fellowship, worth $75,000. Christ Church Preservation Trust received a project grant for David Gordon's upcoming THE PHILADELPHIA MATTER/2020.

At the New York Dance and Performance Awards (the "Bessies"), Leslie Cuyjet, Gabrielle Hamilton, Taylor Stanley and Shamar Watt received Outstanding Performer awards; Yvonne Rainer, Deborah Hay, Lucinda Childs, David Gordon, Steve Paxton, Trisha Brown, Simone Forti and curator Ana Janevski, the team behind "Judson Dance Theater: The Work is Never Done" at NYC's Museum of Modern Art, received the award for Outstanding Revival; Nick Cave (The Let Go at Park Avenue Armory), nora chipaumire (#Punk 100% Pop* N!GGA at The Kitchen and Crossing the Line Festival), Merce Cunningham with stager Patricia Lent and the Merce Cunningham Trust (Night of 100 Solos: A Centennial Event), and Tania El Khoury (As Far As My Fingertips Take Me at Under the Radar/The Public Theater) were recognized in the Outstanding Production category.

A man with light brown skin and dark hair grins at the camera. He's wearing black boots, cuffed washed out blue jeans, a black and white striped shirt and a denim jacket, and is sitting, knees crossed, on a brown block, with one wrist dangling on his knee..

Taylor Stanley

Jayme Thornton

The Prix de la Danse de Montréal prizewinners for 2019 are Paul-André Fortier (Grand Prix, worth $25,000 CAD), dancer Brianna Lombardo (Prix Interprète, $10,000), choreographer Hélène Langevin (Prix du CALQ, $10,000), urban dance trailblazer Alexandra "Spicey" Landé (Prix Découverte, $5,000), companies Destins Croisés and Tentacle Tribe (Envol Award for Cultural Diversity and Inclusive Practices in Dance, $10,000), ice dancing troupe Le Patin Libre (Prix Diffusion Internationale, $5,000), cultural manager Marie-Andrée Gougeon (Prix Gestionnaire Culturelle, $5,000), and administrative director Jack Udashkin (Prix Contribution Exceptionnelle).

Chanel DaSilva, Tsai Hsi Hung, Pablo Sánchez and Durante Verzola are the winners of The Joffrey Ballet's 2020 Winning Works Choreographic Competition, which includes a $5,000 stipend.

Mark Morris will be named a Living Landmark by The New York Landmarks Conservancy at a ceremony on November 6.

Bill T. Jones has been named the associate artist of the 2020 Holland Festival.

Latest Posts


Clockwise from top left: Photo by Loreto Jamlig, Courtesy Ladies of Hip-Hop; Wikimedia Commons; Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet; Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre; Photo by Will Mayer for Better Half Productions, Courtesy ABT

The 10 Biggest Dance Stories of 2019

What were the dance moments that defined 2019? The stories that kept us talking, week after week? According to our top-clicked articles of the year, they ranged from explorations of dance medicine and dance history, takedowns of Lara Spencer and companies who still charge dancers to audition, and, of course, our list of expert tips on how to succeed in dance today.

We compiled our 10 biggest hits of the year, and broke down why we think they struck a chord:

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Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Nichols

I Am a Black Dancer Who Was Dressed Up in Blackface to Perform in La Bayadère

On Instagram this week, Misty Copeland reposted a picture of two Russian ballerinas covered head to toe in black, exposing the Bolshoi's practice of using blackface in the classical ballet La Bayadère. The post has already received over 60,000 likes and 2,000 comments, starting a long overdue conversation.

Comments have been pouring in from every angle imaginable: from history lessons on black face, to people outside of the ballet world expressing disbelief that this happens in 2019, to castigations of Copeland for exposing these young girls to the line of fire for what is ultimately the Bolshoi's costuming choice, to the accusations that the girls—no matter their cultural competence—should have known better.

I am a black dancer, and in 2003, when I was 11 years old, I was dressed up in blackface to perform in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of La Bayadère.

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Here's the First Trailer for the "In the Heights" Movie

Lights up on Washington Heights—because the trailer for the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical In the Heights has arrived. It's our first look into Lin-Manuel Miranda's latest venture into film—because LMM isn't stopping at three Tony awards, a Grammy award, and an Emmy.

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